“Volunteering has enriched my life” 

05/06/2015 00:00 
Loving, caring, supportive: our award-winning volunteer Pragna Shah is a beacon of light during dark days for many cancer patients and their carers.

“She’s just wonderful,” said Anne Couzens, whose dad is under-going long term treatment, “she has such a warm smile and gives so much.”

But Pragna insists she is the one who has reaped rewards. “Volunteering has enriched my life beyond words. I can’t put a price on it. I’ve met so many lovely people who have taught me so much, to appreciate every moment. If I can make a difference to their journey through life – as they have to mine – then it is all worthwhile.”

She welcomes patients who arrive at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre, offers guidance and sympathy to those seeking help and accompanies them for blood scans and chemotherapy.

The retired Law Society administrator is no stranger to hospitals, illness and suffering and has genuine empathy for others. Her mother died of throat cancer at UCLH 25 years ago, her brother has undergone three kidney transplants and her baby boy was stillborn.

Before every volunteering shift, she pops into the rose garden at Regents Park and sits on her late mother’s favourite bench.

“I sit, reflect, say a little prayer and think about my mum and the patients and how I might be able to help them. I think she would approve of what I am doing.”

Pragna recently won the UCLH Celebrating Excellence Volunteer Award for her outstanding work and said she accepted the award on behalf of all of our 168 hard working volunteers at UCLH. If you would like to volunteer please email riti.vishwakarna@uclh.nhs.uk

For more informatiON about Volunteers Week go to http://volunteersweek.org/


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