Newspaper man brings joy to hospital patients

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A former footballer is delivering copies of the Wakefield Express to patients after becoming a hospital volunteer.

Harvey Pedley is taking the Express to elderly wards at Pinderfields Hospital as part of a deal between the NHS trust and WH Smith.

Former Sheffield Utd Youth team player Mr Pedley, 30, spent months recuperating from a car crash in 2006, and suffered injuries so serious he had to give up his dream of becoming a physiotherapist.

He now gives up 15 hours a week of his time after finding out about volunteering when his mother was hospitalised with stomach problems.

Mr Pedley said he had noticed how much people in hospital missed their local paper.

He said: “When you are so ill that you can’t get out of bed, a newspaper can be your contact with the world, a life-line and a friend, if you like.”

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust is encouraging more people to become volunteers and befrienders to tackle loneliness and isolation among patients.

Voluntary services manager Vikki Padgett said: “Harvey is such a smiley, happy bubbly person who gets on with everyone.

“While he is a unique individual, his experience is typical of that of so many of our volunteers.

Caring for others has enabled them to boost their life experience and their confidence and made many ready for work. It has also helped them create friendships for life.”

To find out about volunteering e-mail volunteer@midyorks.nhs.uk