A hospital trust is calling for more volunteers to come forward.

The East and North Hertfordshire Trust, which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage, has launched an appeal for more volunteers to help out.

Sheena Lim, a dementia nurse at Lister, said: “Volunteers on our elderly care wards really make a huge difference both to patients and staff. By sharing afternoon tea, playing a game, talking about the past or helping the team that bring round pat dogs or beauticians, a cheerful volunteer can raise a smile and make the day go a little faster.”

Janis Hall, voluntary services manager for the hospital, added: “There’s a lot in the news at the moment about dementia and care of the elderly and – whilst our staff do a wonderful job in caring for their patients – we need more volunteers to join the team to help brighten up long days. A couple of hours a week is easy to give and makes such an enormous difference to patients. We’re looking for friendly people who enjoy a chat and want to join a team who do something very special.”

The Trust will provide training and cover volunteers’ travel expenses. To find out more about getting involved, call 01438 284715 or email janis.hall@nhs.net