Let’s give Jabs Army another big push and volunteer, says Elaine Paige

THE Sun’s brilliant Jabs Army volunteers are needed again . . . and this time we’d like you to get on your trolleys.

Hospitals all over the country are desperately short of people to wheel refreshments around the wards.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Elaine Paige launch the Big Trolley Push campaign

The Duchess of Cornwall and Elaine Paige launch the Big Trolley Push campaignCredit: The Sun
RVS trolley volunteers Jill Hickman, 75, and John Stephens, 72, on duty at Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley, Surrey

RVS trolley volunteers Jill Hickman, 75, and John Stephens, 72, on duty at Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley, SurreyCredit: Arthur Edwards / The Sun

When Covid struck, the Royal Voluntary Service had to axe the service, which sell papers, magazines and toiletries to hospital patients.

Now the pandemic is over, more than 600 volunteers are desperately needed around the UK.

West End legend Elaine Paige is backing the Big Trolley Push for more volunteers on the wards.

Elaine was photographed taking a trolley around wards at Leicester General Hospital with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the President of the RVS.

Elaine says: “Having been behind a hospital trolley myself and seeing how the warm-hearted volunteers can raise patients’ spirits, I can only imagine how much they have been missed on wards over the past two years.

“Now trolley services are back, I am urging people to see for themselves what a remarkable difference they can make to the wellbeing of someone who is likely experiencing a difficult time.

“Donating your time to support others is a wonderful thing.

“You don’t need any special skills and you certainly don’t need to sing to patients — as I did! Your time and compassion are enough to brighten someone’s day.”

Big-hearted Jill Hickman, 75, has been pushing the trolley around Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, since 1982.

She was devastated when she was forced to give up when the first lockdown began in early 2020.

Jill says: “That Monday night when they phoned and I realised we couldn’t do it I was so upset. It was awful. I cried myself to sleep.”

Jill was finally allowed back volunteering on the wards eight weeks ago.

She says: “It was amazing to be back. Because I had been there for so many years it was like seeing old friends again.

“RVS volunteers have a tremendous effect on the staff and the patients who enjoy having a little bit of the outside world coming to see them.”

Part-time accountant John Stephens, 71, of Yately, Hants, volunteers with Jill for four hours a week.

He says: “We visit 21 wards and it is really enjoyable work. The patients look forward to having a chat.”