Making small, valuable contributions to help unserved communities by Artika Datta, Trustee Rama Foundation, Advanced Specialist Dietitian, Cambridge University Hospitals

By Artika Datta, Trustee Rama Foundation, Advanced Specialist Dietitian

I have returned from this most recent Rama Foundation (RF) volunteering trip in India with immense satisfaction, gratitude, and pride. It was thrilling to work with really committed and enthusiastic colleagues - our pre-trip meetings really helped us to establish a strong sense of teamworking to work towards a great purpose.

For the part of the trip, we were hosted by new Rama Foundation partner, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) and I was astounded by the warm and generous hospitality we received. Our 3-day intense programme in HIMS was very successful and I have deep admiration for how amazing hospital facilities provide excellent care for underprivileged members of society. I was particularly in awe of the HIMS rural development initiatives focusing on serving the hard-to-reach mountain areas. There is a strong connection and collaboration between the acute hospital and the community services, which is truly exemplary and something we can all learn from here in the NHS.

In the second part of the visit, we experienced the kind, caring and compassionate staff at our long-standing RF partner, Ganga Prem Hospice (GPH) The team at GPH never fail to overwhelm me with all the wonderful care they provide not only to patients nearing the end of their lives but also to their family members. It gave me a feeling of immense satisfaction and pride to see the fruits of many years of RF volunteers knowledge exchange when we observed the GPH staff giving dietary advice to patients seen in domiciliary visits.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Rishikesh with my colleagues and how, our newly formed team, bonded and created memories that we will reminisce about for a long time. This trip has further enhanced my motivation and enthusiasm to continue this journey of making small, valuable contributions to help unserved communities. I am really looking forward sharing our experience at the national AHP day and expanding AHP involvement to wider specialities.

Listen to Artika reflecting on volunteering with Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences