Sylvia and John’s Story
When Sylvia Osborne, from Portchester, retired 19 years ago she wanted to volunteer in a place where she would be guaranteed to meet interesting people. It was with that goal in mind that she became a hospital guide at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA). Sylvia has never looked back. In fact, Sylvia enjoyed being a guide so much that when her husband John Osborne retired two years after she did, she suggested he volunteer as a hospital guide as well.
Clearly both Sylvia and John enjoy helping people: “It can be daunting coming in to hospital,” Sylvia says. “You don’t know where to go; you may be ill yourself or upset that a family member is sick in hospital. The job of a hospital guide is to help people find where they need to go.”
In addition to being friendly and knowing your way around the hospital, both Sylvia and John contend that it is essential that a hospital guide have compassion.
John says: “I have taken injured people to the Emergency Department. Basically whenever someone needs help; I’m there.”
Sylvia volunteers twelve hours a week and John volunteers for fifteen hours. Two days a week they drive in together. “There are times when we don’t see each other in the day,” John says. However, Sylvia admits to loving being able to “bounce things off each other” when the couple get home.
The pair have been married for 53 years and when asked who is the best at their job, John (perhaps indicating the key to their successful marriage), smiles and says his wife is by far the best.