Laying the foundations for a career in healthcare

To mark Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June), we spoke to Khadija Sajjad, an 18-year-old aspiring medic who began her volunteer journey at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital following its official opening by the Prince and Princess of Wales in January 2023.

“I’ve always loved the idea of being able to help people, so when my college tutor told me there was a need for volunteers at the new Royal, I jumped at the chance.

“I moved to Liverpool from Pakistan with my mum and five siblings in 2021 and was keen to put my multi-lingual skills to good use. I’ve always wanted a career in healthcare, so when I started at Belvedere College in Princes Park, I decided to study biology, chemistry and maths, as well as my first language, Urdu, to enhance my qualifications.

“When I started volunteering at LUHFT I was mainly helping patients find their way around the hospital, but I’ve since progressed to assisting on the wards and I love it. I’ve been able to help patients who only speak Hindi, Urdu or Korean by translating exactly how they’re feeling to our doctors and nurses.

“I feel like I have the ability to make a difference now, no matter how small that may be. Volunteering has improved my confidence and provided me with experiences that I wouldn’t have had elsewhere.

“I would encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to do it; you only have to spare as little as three hours a week. I originally signed up for the minimum of six months but I enjoy it so much that I’m going to carry on. The team are so welcoming, and the role is so flexible that I’m able to fit it in around being part of Cadets and studying.

“It’s great to be part of LUHFT and who knows, maybe I’ll be working here as a medic one day!”