The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow

Butterfly Volunteer Coordinator:   Nicki Harris

Phone: 01279 444455 Ext 2685

ART Ambassador: Shahid Sardar, Associate Director for Patient Experience


To date the Butterfly Volunteer Team at PAH have:

Supported 533 patients in the last days and hours of their life, by visiting them 1485 times, providing 795 hours by the bedside.

In November 2017, 20 ART Butterfly Volunteers were recruited and they carried out their training in early January 2018 at The Park Inn by Raddison, Harlow. This team is drawn from the local community, NHS staff and volunteers, and includes the Chief Nurse of the trust (who is also one of our esteemed Patrons).

They started visiting patients in the last days and hours of their lives, and supporting their families in mid January 2018.

After an amazing response from the local community in and around Harlow, Jo and Liz ran the second training day, again supported by The Park Inn, after which the team ran at full capacity, with 40 active volunteers visiting patients at the end of life.

This team of volunteers have a hugely positive impact on all involved – including:

– patients, many of whom have no visitors, being offered a hand to hold, and some
companionship in the last days and hours of their life

– their loved ones have someone to talk to, make them a cup of tea, and make sure they know about the services that are offered by the hospital (ie free parking, meal vouchers for loved ones of patients at the end of life for instance, and bereavement services).

– nursing staff know that there is a team of volunteers who can be called upon when one of their patients is nearing the end of life so they are free to continue to provide excellent care for other patients without worrying that the patient will die alone.

– doctors and other clinicians work with our volunteers to make sure the patient and their family is supported at this difficult time

The aim is to provide volunteers to cover 3 shifts per day, 7 days a week.

Sign up to our Newsletter to receive email updates about Butterfly Volunteer recruitment and new Partner Hospitals!

Go to our Testimonials page to read positive feedback from the team at Princess Alexandra!

Special thanks go to:

Sharon McNally – Director of Nursing

Shahid Sardar – Lead for Patient Experience and Engagement

The Specialist Palliative Care Team

Ruby Fallows – Information Manager, PAH Informatics

and all the members of staff, clinical and administrative, who provide such amazing support to the Butterfly Volunteer team.

All patients being cared for using “The Individual Care Plan for the Dying Person” can be referred to the Butterfly Volunteer team via specialist palliative care.

Call 01279 444455 Ext: 2685 to speak to Nicki Harris, Butterfly Volunteer Coordinator, or email her on

ART Butterfly Volunteers Won £618 at the February Harlow Soup!

We were very pleased to be invited to join in on a fundraising evening, local to The Princess Alexandra Hospital, called Harlow Soup, on Thursday 28th February. Jo did a…

Read more

Job Vacancy: Butterfly Volunteers Coordinator – POST NOW FILLED

We are transforming end of life care at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust through the role of Butterfly End of Life volunteers. Come and join us. Do you have…

Read more

Diary of an ART Butterfly Volunteer: Entry 4

Reflecting back during my time as a Butterfly Volunteer at PAH, I remember being really apprehensive the first time I knocked on a patient’s room door when there were visitors…

Read more

A Squeezed Hand and a Smile

Our ART Butterfly Volunteers provide compassionate listening, comfort and companionship for patients in the last few days and hours of life, many of whom have few or no visitors, and…

Read more

Diary of an ART Butterfly Volunteer: Entry 3

We have spent 7 months at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow where our ART Butterfly Volunteers have provided 738 individual visits to 283 patients who are nearing the end…

Read more