Orla brings sunshine and happiness to Basingstoke Hospital - FitzRoy

Orla brings sunshine and happiness to Basingstoke Hospital

Published: April 26, 2024

23-year-old Orla moved into our supported living service in Hampshire just over a year ago. Orla recently started a volunteering position at Basingstoke Hospital where her dedication and infectious personality leave a lasting impact on both patients and staff.

Service Manager, Christine, says: “We mainly support Orla with daily household activitieslike cooking , as well as going to places she’s not used to going to, or baking which she loves. She cherishes her independence, often taking the bus to venture into town to socialise with friends and pursue her interests.

“She’s incredibly caring and always eager to lend a hand whenever needed. Her friendly nature shines through in her conversations; she’s very chatty and regularly expresses kind words to those around her. Each morning, she greets us with a warm smile, a hug, and a compliment, brightening our day as she asks how we’ve been.”

We support Orla as she is autistic and has a learning disability. She needs a bit of extra support to live independently. When she first joined us, she was in the midst of completing her Level 2 Health and Social Care course at college whilst also volunteering in a nursery. Unfortunately, her volunteer placement was a little far for her to get to so with support from her job coach and encouragement from our staff, she secured an interview for another volunteering position at Basingstoke Hospital. Orla eagerly prepared for her interview, getting all dressed up, and was delighted to be offered the role!

Orla now works two days a week at the hospital where her infectious smile and personality brighten up the ward. From fetching wheelchairs to sharing a friendly chat, Orla’s presence is truly cherished by all. The hospital’s acknowledgment of Orla’s impact, shared proudly on their Facebook page, speaks volumes:

Orla brings sunshine and happiness to the ward each time she is around.

Through her volunteering role, she not only brightens the hospital ward but also finds fulfillment, gaining confidence and valuable experiences while actively engaging with the community outside of her home.

Reflecting on her journey, Orla shares,

Working at the hospital has helped me to gain confidence and heightened my awareness of my surroundings. It feels fulfilling to contribute to others’ well-being and to be a part of a team. I hope to one day become a health care assistant.

Christine said: “At FitzRoy, we know how important it is to the people we support to do the things that matter to them, whether that’s getting out to visit their friends, working in a local shop, or, like Orla, volunteering in a role that has so many benefits for her and the people she’s helping. We always support them to achieve their goals, whatever they are, and we’re so proud of Orla for her fantastic work at the hospital.”