An exclusive voluntary scheme set up by a hospice has provided valuable experience in palliative care for three aspiring medical students.

Teens Theo, Megan and Zoe recently completed the six-month clinical placement scheme at St Clare Hospice’s Inpatient Unit in Hastingwood.

The project aims to help students enhance their college, university or job applications whilst also offering valuable life skills developed through direct contact with patients.

Zoe Donnelly, an aspiring medical student from Loughton, said the voluntary placement has been ‘one of the most valuable experiences [she’s] had so far.’

“I had very little understanding of what the purpose of a hospice was and, quite honestly, had no idea what to expect,” said Miss Donnelly. “Now that I’ve completed the project, the knowledge I have gained about palliative care has encouraged me to pass on a more positive definition of what a hospice is to other young people.”

From September to February, the students learned key medical knowledge and communication skills whilst shadowing St Clare doctors, volunteers and consultants.

Summarising her experience, Miss Donnelly added: “The lessons I learned at St Clare are now proving to be extremely valuable with the progression of my medical application. For that, I am so grateful to St Clare for enabling me to have such a unique experience.”

Volunteer manager, Rob Wallace, said: “We’re delighted to have had the support of three excellent Young Ambassadors this year.

“They’ve all attained a very high standard in a relatively short time and I’m sure they will all go on to have very successful careers in healthcare.”

St Clare Hospice will begin recruiting for its fourth round of Young Ambassadors for 2019-20 during June and July 2019.

For more information, contact St Clare’s voluntary service manager Rob Wallace on 01279 773722 or email