accessibility & help

Friendly signposting service has the canine touch

29 March 2010

Bournemouth Hospital Red Cross Dog Patients and visitors arriving at Bournemouth Hospital’s main entrance have been greeted by Red Cross volunteers since the hospital opened 20 years ago - and many also get some friendly canine attention.

Volunteers for the Red Cross signposting service offer directions and assistance to the wards and departments of the big hospital. The service operates throughout the day from Monday to Friday and currently has ten volunteers.  Lead volunteer Marjorie Bean has supported the signposting service since the very first day the hospital opened in November 1989. 

Marjorie said: “Being with people and the joy you get from helping them is the best thing about volunteering. Initially, all the hospital receptionists were Red Cross volunteers. This lasted for about threeyears and we then began concentrating on the signposting service. 

Things have changed a great deal from those early days. The hospital has doubled in size and now has lots of new departments.”

Puppy love

A big attraction for many of the hospital visitors is volunteer Jayne Mansell’s dog Maggie. The eight-year-old golden retriever is always happy to be patted and hugged, and helps people to feel more relaxed and at ease. 

Former patient, and now hospital volunteer, Simone Jullion said: “I met Jayne and Maggie on my first visit to the hospital for cancer treatment.  They helped me through such a difficult and emotional time.  It was just lovely to come in and tickle Maggie’s tummy.”

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