“My favourite thing about volunteering is the ease of the volunteering for different events and the support that is provided by each school when attending different events but most all it has to be the different conversations that I have with pupils at all stages in their schooling about my role within mental health services.”
- Name: Anthony Longbone
- Job title: Student Degree Nurse Apprentice
- Organisation: Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust
When did you sign up with as a volunteer, and why did you decide to start volunteering?
I first signed up as a volunteer with Inspiring the Future when I became our Trust’s first Nursing Now England Ambassador in 2018, we were encouraged to volunteer as part of our work in raising the profile and transforming the perceptions of nursing. I also felt it was important in my role as Ambassador to connect with the children and young people of Derby to share the passion I have for nursing and hopefully inspire them to consider the possibilities available to them.
What career-related learning activities have you participated in so far and what was your experience of them?
I have participated in a number of different events within schools since becoming a volunteer and I have always found them a joy to participate in. I have always found each event to be well organised by each school and I have been inspired by the responses and engagement I have received from children and young people when participating.
I have always enjoyed the ‘What’s my line’ assemblies as they have always provided me with a great opportunity to demonstrate the different roles that men have to play in nursing which is a key theme from the Nursing Now program. It has also been humbling to visit some of Derby’s most deprived schools and inspire the children and young people to consider a career in nursing.
The standout moment from the different events I have attended so far has to be bringing a stethoscope to a primary school event at Derwent Primary in Derby and allowing pupils to listen to each other’s heartbeats using it, seeing pupils faces light up when experiencing it and the different conversations it created.
How do you feel you have benefitted from your volunteering experience so far?
I feel that through volunteering at different events I have been able to improve my communications skills through engaging with children of all ages and I also feel that each experience has helped me understand what it is to be a nurse, I have also benefitted seeing the passion in young people there is for supporting others and this continues to fill me with confidence for the future nursing workforce.
What kind of impact do you think you have had on the young people you have met?
With the passion that I have for nursing as a whole and mental health nursing as my chosen vocation I feel that I have been able to demonstrate the variety of roles that are available when thinking about a career in nursing as each event I have attended I have been at a different stage of my career. I also hope that I have been able to demonstrate that it may take time to identify a career that is right for you and you may need to undertake further education to achieve those career goals.
What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?
My favourite thing about volunteering is the ease of the volunteering for different events and the support that is provided by each school when attending different events but most all it has to be the different conversations that I have with pupils at all stages in their schooling about my role within mental health services.
What would you say to those thinking of joining our volunteer community? Do you have any tips/ advice?
I would highly recommend becoming a volunteer with the Inspiring the Future program, the opportunity to engage with young people in the local Derby community and share my passion for my career is always a pleasure.
I have found that when considering the type of event and how I am going to engage with pupils, thinking about the different hobbies or interests’ young people may have has been helpful when participating in ‘What’s my line assemblies’ as this has helped them consider nursing as a role for them. I have also found that having items available for pupils to look at and try have been a beneficial l tool in demonstrating the different skills that are required within my role and these have also been an effective way in engaging young people in conversation.
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