One volunteer’s philosophy: Get involved. Do good. Help others.

One of our longest-standing volunteers, Norma Thompson, talks about the reasons why she chose to become a volunteer.
Norma Thompson - Healthwatch Swindon volunteer

Norma Thompson’s desire to help others started at an early age and has never gone away.

The retired mental health nurse sits on a number of local forums, groups and committees and is a volunteer for Healthwatch Swindon.

Pride of Swindon

Originally from Barbados, Norma came to London as a child with her family in 1962. The urge to help others came early, and has never gone away, whether in Norma’s professional life or in the volunteer work which saw her given a Pride Of Swindon Award in 2015.

Early life

After leaving school, her hopes were set on becoming a nurse. She trained in general nursing; the decision to specialise in mental health came later. She said:

“I applied to work in the prison service. I worked at Wormwood Scrubs, in the hospital, where we did theatre work and operations every day.”

Volunteering for Healthwatch

Norma has lived and worked in Swindon for many years and since retiring has been an active volunteer. She joined the Local Involvement Networks (LINKS) steering group from 2009 which then became Healthwatch Swindon in 2013. Her role involves taking part in Enter and View visits of health and care premises to observe and access the nature of quality of services.

Engaging with the different communities is just one of the highlights for Norma. She said:

“I work with some very determined, focused and pro-active groups, looking at addressing issues around mental health, equality and diversity, hate crime and community engagement.  

“I want to help work towards building a non-discriminatory society where all people have access to services and importantly, sustain and strengthen the challenge in overcoming views about health and social care in the black minorities and ethnic communities.

“My urge to help others came early and has never gone away that was one the reasons that I joined Healthwatch. My priority is helping to make society better for all. I would advise others who maybe thinking of volunteering: make a difference. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities and society in general."

“My philosophy is simple, “Get involved. Do good, help others.”

If you're interested in volunteering you can find out about what roles are available by looking here or speaking to our Volunteer Support Officer, Sam Baker.

Full training and support will be given to you.

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