Join us for a heart-warming evening of traditional carols and festive readings on Thursday 19th December 2019 at St John's Church in Waterloo. The evening will begin by 6:30pm and after the service there will be mince pies and fruit juice.
Enjoy the festive spirit with Mildmay! ... See MoreSee Less
We would like to thank our brilliant team who took part in this year's #RedRunLDN this JustGivingcom/542637615788954">#WorldAIDSDay. Thank you to all those who generously donated to our JustGiving page! justgiving.com/campaign/mildmayredrun
Also a massive thank you @PositiveEast for making the event so special #RedRunUK ... See MoreSee Less
Keith: A glimpse into the journey of a volunteer at Mildmay
Keith is one of Mildmay’s longest serving volunteers having started over 20 years ago back in 1997. Keith heard of Mildmay through a good friend of his who had been volunteering at the hospital for the past 2 years. Initially he did not know much about the hospital but decided to go to the interview anyway.
During the interview, Dave Windsor (Former Volunteer Coordinator) told Keith that Mildmay were short of two permanent staff and a volunteer and asked Keith if he would be able to start immediately. It turned out “immediately” meant the same day as the interview but Keith took up this challenge and was “thrown in at the deep end” helping clients with their meals and making new friends. When asked about this Keith said, “I got stuck in straight from the interview and by the end I was washing dishes with the guys”. Keith knew it was right for him because of the reward he gets from helping people. Keith became an instant hit with the clients and would host the tea party every Wednesday for everyone. This would include all the staff members and some of the clients who would come down from the wards.
Following working in Day-Care and helping out in the gym, Keith also started working in the Chaplaincy. At the 12.00 Service on Wednesdays, Keith would accompany the lead pianist every week and the pianist, who was also a music teacher, saw Keith’s dedication and invited him to have lessons with her privately.
Keith had not played for a while at this point but in true Keith fashion, he took up this challenge and “started getting all the music back”. This started with him playing more frequently and taking it up more seriously. When the opportunity arose to fill in the vacant position, Keith was the obvious stand out choice. This is how volunteering in the chapel took over for Keith and where he spends most of his current days.
For Keith, Volunteering in the chapel every week is where he gets much of his fulfilment. He details how one of the chaplains, “Likes it because I play the hymns that he wants and I set it all up for him”. He talks about how even though he is not “terribly religious” the chapel has been a big help for him personally. He details how playing for the patients makes him “feel useful and they really show their appreciation”. Keith was a choirboy at school and this is one of the main reasons why he knows all the hymns.
Keith remembers many special moments when he looks back on several years of volunteering for Mildmay. One particular instance he remembers is when “they laid down the foundations for the new building”. He remembers this day fondly because he had to sing something appropriate for the occasion. He sang “I Walk with God” even though “there was no proper keyboard” he still managed to “entertain a packed audience”. Similarly, he played for Dave Windsor’s memorial service when he died. He sang, “I Walk Beside You” and highlights this to be one of his “most beautiful memories” during his time at Mildmay.
During his time volunteering, Keith also had the opportunity to meet Prince Harry on more than one occasion. Keith was part of a BBC programme called “The Truth about HIV” featuring Harry. Following this, during Prince Harry’s visit to the hospital, Keith was playing “Amazing Grace” to one of the clients. He recalls proudly how during that time Prince Harry recognised him, and said, “Oh you’re still behind the keyboard!”
Keith feels volunteering is “a marvellous thing to do”. Being a volunteer has given Keith the skills and knowledge to be of help to other people outside of the hospital as well. Several years ago a best friend of Keith’s was diagnosed with HIV. He was unable to access the latest life-saving drugs because they were not available at his local hospital. Keith persuaded the friend to come with him to Mildmay. There he found support, information and made friends. Importantly he quickly gained access to the drugs that would save his life. He remains a good friend to Keith and praises the pioneering work of Mildmay.
At Mildmay Keith also enjoys watering the garden and “keeping things looking nice”. Keith is now retired but has kept up his volunteering and likes that it gets him up to London each week and keeps him feeling “part of the human race”. Keith also says that another reason he has kept on coming back to the chapel all this time is because of the wonderful staff at Mildmay. He states, “They really make you feel appreciated which is vital and I’ll keep on going as long as I can”. ... See MoreSee Less
Join us on Thursday 19th December 2019 at St John's Church in Waterloo for our annual Christmas celebrations.
The evening will begin by 6:30pm and after the service there will be mince pies and fruit juice.
Come along for an evening of Christmas cheer! ... See MoreSee Less
We've just put a new plaque up in our reception!
Mildmay is so proud to be supported by the Community Fund. The support of National Lottery players has transformed how we work with volunteers!
Thank you for the continued support @TNLCommunityFund #NationalLottery ... See MoreSee Less
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