A POOLE Hospital volunteer who has given her time for more than four decades said she hopes others will be inspired to do the same.

Myra Dines has given 42 years of service at the hospital, most recently as a 'mealtime companion'.

As part of this role, Myra serves patients food and drink and encourages those who need support.

Previously, she worked in recruitment for a London bank for 20 years.

After moving to Poole she took a role volunteering as a librarian at the hospital in 1975.

In 2012, Myra decided to take up a new role after she saw ward staff supporting and encouraging patients to eat at mealtimes on a trauma and orthopaedic ward.

She visits patients every Monday lunchtime and says that she finds the role ‘interesting and rewarding’.

"I could see that some extra help at mealtimes would be welcomed on most wards,” Myra said.

“Now, five years later, I am still enjoying being a mealtime companion and find the role both interesting and rewarding.”

Poole Hospital currently has more than 250 volunteers aged from 16 to 92, working in 43 wards and departments.

Myra said she hopes others will come forward to give their time for free.

“I would really recommend more people to train as mealtime companions,” she said.

“Patients welcome your attention and express their gratitude. It is a truly fulfilling experience.”

Joy Janati, voluntary services lead, said all at the hospital are grateful to Myra for her service.

“We greatly value the help of all our volunteers who give a tremendous amount of their time to the hospital helping patients, visitors and staff,” she said.

“Myra is an exceptional example of this and we’re very appreciative for her undoubted contributions to thousands of patients over the years.

“We’re grateful that Myra is supporting our campaign to find more volunteers and if anyone feels they can help regularly for at least six months, please do get in touch.”

For more information, visit poole.nhs.uk