Spotlight on Volunteering

Patient Outreach Project

Our spotlight is on the volunteering society Patient Outreach Project.


Tell us about your volunteering society.


Patient Outreach Project is a student-led Volunteering Society which runs visits to hospitals in Edinburgh to visit elderly patients who don't have many visitors. Many of the elderly patients are in hospital for weeks or months at a time and so can get very lonely. We are a group of students that go to hospital wards and simply chat to patients who want some company for about an hour.


Sounds fun! What impact does Patient Outreach Project's volunteering have and who benefits?


Patients benefit from our visits as it is good for their wellbeing to have company and conversations about things of interest to them. Nurses and other clinical staff appreciate us visiting the patients as they see that it makes them happy and enables busy staff to carry out other jobs. Family and friends of patients appreciate us visiting as they cannot be with relatives all the time for a variety of reasons and care that they have someone keeping them company during a stressful and lonely time.


What do the patients say about the work Patient Outreach Project do?


One patient we visited for several weeks during a very long admission told us she was so grateful for our company as it was distraction from the very stressful ward and difficulties she experienced with other patients.


Amazing! What do Patient Outreach Project's volunteers gain from their volunteering experience?


A better appreciation of the value of listening to other people from all backgrounds and learning from their years of experiences and wisdom in life lessons.


What advice would you give to students thinking about volunteering?


Volunteering is a great opportunity to give back in your community around university, learn new skills, gain life lessons and widen your experiences from other people and can be a great way to make new friends and feel part of a worthwhile cause that you believe in.


For more information on Patient Outreach Project, check out their Facebook Page or contact them via email -