Friends of St Cross volunteer David Harrop is no stranger to the stage, having performed in the West End, Las Vegas, Australia and New Zealand as a singer, dancer and actor.
He has now put his talents to good use, treating patients on Ash Ward at the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby to a special show. David began volunteering at UHCW in February and has won the hearts of staff and patients. His all-singing, all-dancing performance, based on the film Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, lifted the spirits of everyone within earshot.
“Performing never becomes run of the mill, every audience is a new challenge,” said David. “It’s a little like that volunteering here. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to give something back. The show went very well and was well received by everyone. I have received some lovely messages.” David was working for Royal Volunteers for the last year delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) and chatting to patients. He was put in touch with Friends of St Cross chairman Willy Goldschmidt and has joined the team on Ash Ward. David initially started helping with admin but is now welcoming patients, taking temperatures, preparing PPE – and even calling bingo. Ward Clerk, Lisa Moulsher, said: “The patients loved it! They were waving their arms and one woman said she used to sing those songs with her dad, it was brilliant.”
Willy Goldschmidt said “David has given us yet another example of how our volunteers have made a difference to the patient experience at St Cross. Since the first lockdown we have welcomed many new volunteers and have been able to start some new services helping the teams in the wards and meeting and greeting patients at the various entrances to the hospital.
Last week volunteers started to join the team in the newly opened Maple Unit and at the end of the month we are planning to resume the Ward Trolley Service. We are now delivering more volunteer hours per week than we did before the pandemic and have vacancies for more volunteers!"