Smoothie volunteers help whizz up nutritious drinks

23 May 2019

Smoothie volunteers help whizz up nutritious drinks
Good nutrition is an essential aspect of a patient's recovery. But for those receiving treatment for cancer, swallowing solid foods can be fraught with difficulty.

To help tackle this problem, Imperial Health Charity has worked with staff at Charing Cross Hospital
to bring Smoothie Service Volunteers to the Acute Oncology ward, providing healthy, nutritious
smoothies for patients who have difficulties with eating.

The side effects of cancer treatment can leave patients feeling too unwell to eat a full meal. A smoothie is much easier for them to ingest and the fruit, protein powder and dairy contained within
provides the important nutrients and calories for a much-needed energy boost.

Rose Koroyin, who has been volunteering at 6 North ward since January, has also found that
socialising with patients brings additional benefits.

“You can tell that some of the patients really like having that extra interaction with someone who is not a doctor, nurse or healthcare assistant,” she said.

“Just having that contact with them makes a difference - and you can see that some of them are really excited by it.”

The volunteers are trained to participate alongside medical and kitchen staff while being sensitive to
the patients’ needs. They are able to explain what goes into the smoothie and how it can support a patient’s recovery.

Rose began volunteering after seeing some of her own relatives experience cancer treatment.

“At first I was scared because I had not had much interaction with patients,” she said.

“I’m quite shy and I didn’t know how I would fit into the role. But it has been a big help for my
communication skills and given me a lot of empathy for people.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at our hospitals, click here.