Volunteering... to travel the world

2 min to read

I first heard about volunteering for clinical trials around five years ago through a friend. I have now done four trials, and three of them have been with Quotient‐ easily my #1 choice!  I am currently planning to do a new study with Quotient this summer.

I work as a freelance tattoo artist, which involves a lot of travelling. When I return to the UK, I will usually try to fit in a clinical trial, as it provides some very welcome extra funds to travel with. For me personally it is also quite a nice escape to get away from the outside world for a short time, getting on with prep work on my laptop for my next trip… or just generally being lazy - watching movies or bingeing on Netflix shows. It is a guilt‐free way to step back from a busy lifestyle for a few days or a couple of weeks, however long you are in there. The facilities are very comfortable, there are numerous lounge rooms, all equipped with Sky TV, books and board games and Xbox One consoles - there is good Wi-Fi throughout the building including the wards. Elaine, the Volunteer Liaison Officer, comes in to the clinic like a breath of fresh air throughout the week with fun games, bingo, quizzes, and pool tournaments, with voucher prizes for a little extra incentive. That is always good fun and gets the volunteers bonding together.

The staff are brilliant at Quotient, from the nurses and clinicians, the facilities and admin team, right through to the catering staff. All very friendly, funny and personable. They genuinely make you feel at home.

One important aspect of doing a medical trial (for me, at least) is the quality and quantity of the food. After all, meal times are the ‘main event’ of your days in there. Quotient have an in-house catering team making generally delicious home‐cooked style dinners. You won’t go hungry in there. The choice is good also; each day there is a menu to choose from.

You will meet a range of fellow volunteers at Quotient; students, regular family men & women, people planning overseas trips like myself or just people looking to bring in a little extra cash to supplement their income. It is a nice relaxed atmosphere. I have made some friends in there I have kept in touch with and usually I have found a good camaraderie amongst us all. We are all in the same boat and we are all leaving there with a little extra to spend so everyone’s in good spirits.

My last trial supplemented a 4-month trip around Asia. This next one will take me… who knows? Somewhere hot with a nice beach… maybe catch you the next time I am in clinic.

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