#MyBSE | My volunteering experience

Published 05/06/2024

Ms Sarah Wilson, Highly Specialised Cardiac Physiologist, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust shares her experience of volunteering with the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) for Volunteers Week.

I absolutely love volunteering for the BSE. It is a great opportunity to network with others, meet like-minded people and feel like you’re making a bit of a difference.

I am part of the Regional Representatives Network in the Southwest and assess for personal accreditation. Through the Regional Representatives Network, I led the South West echo skills day in Bristol, which was a completely new experience for me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone by searching for a venue, faculty and models. With the help of the amazing behind the scenes team at the BSE, the event was a great success – the venue was lovely, the catering was top notch, the volunteers were great and of course the faculty was amazing at delivering the incredible Level 1 programme developed by Richard Fisher. The event allowed me to step into a different role that I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do within my day-to-day -job. This has allowed me to further develop my career and increase my self-confidence. It also gave me the chance to work alongside past colleagues again.

The Regional Representatives meetings provide the opportunity to understand the wider echo community; including good news stories and innovative ideas to manage ever-growing waiting lists. As a Regional Representative, I feel as though I’m perfectly positioned to assist BSE members and colleagues with queries. For me, this mainly consists of questions regarding personal accreditation. It was partly for this reason that I chose to join the amazing team of assessors for personal accreditation. I have learnt so much about what is expected during the accreditation process and have been able to take these experiences and the knowledge back into my department and on a regional level through work with the Echo Training Programme (ETP). The assessment weekends are always good fun and everyone is ready for a laugh, when appropriate. Although it’s all voluntary work, I keep coming back for more because of the experience it gives me; the continuous networking opportunities and leadership development is priceless. Plus the food is always great!