First day 'on the job'
So the training has been done, I have received my 'starter' pack and the date has been set for my first official visit as a Bliss Champion on the unit aarrrggghhhhhh!
I had one final meeting with the hospital volunteer services manager to run through some final details and for her to sign post me to all of the support I may require when on site and just to again remind me what is expected of me and more importantly what is NOT is expected of me. It was a really friendly meeting and I was excited to get up to the unit.
So off I went and was greeted by lots of smiling, welcoming faces, of the nursing staff. I introduced myself and had a quick chat - the nurses told me to make myself at home and to go and meet the mum's and dads.
Training all whizzing round my head - I wandered down the corridor and into the first room and froze!!! Everything was very calm and relaxed, but I just had this overwhelming sense of not wanting to get in the way. One of the nurses sensing my nerves, introduced me to one of the mums and we had a lovely chat - I even managed to sign post her to some useful information!! It felt so awkward and uncomfortable - but ONLY because this is new to me and I want to get it 'right' if that is even possible!
I spent the next hour meeting other families and introducing myself and generally feeling very much like the new girl on the job and a bit of a spare part.
It was lovely to be able to say to the families 'I will be here on Monday mornings if you are around and want a chat'
Once I had left the hospital, I called my contact at Bliss who is assigned to support volunteers (she is great at boosting your confidence and gently guiding you) and we talked through how it had gone. She was very positive and reminded me we all have to have first days and that they lead to second, third, fourth days where confidence can grow.
On reflection, I realise, I really had put a lot of pressure on myself to be behaving like an experienced volunteer - what I forgot is that I am brand new to this and need to give myself time to learn and to 'find my feet'
So I am looking forward to my next visit and to finding a little more confidence ............