An NHS Trust has paid tribute to its volunteers after figures showed they complete a total of 15,000 hours’ work for the organisation every year.
Humber NHS Foundation Trust marked Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 to 7 June, by sending each of its 100 helpers a certificate and thanking them in person.
Volunteer Co-ordinator Samantha Grey said:
The Trust’s volunteers all have an interest in mental health and have retired from related professions or are keen to broaden their work or personal experience.
They work across the organisation in roles ranging from driving and gardening to supporting activity groups for recovering stroke patients.
Ms Grey said the volunteers enhanced patient experience, supported staff and were part of work which benefited the whole community.
Although the number of volunteers who work for the Trust has doubled in two years, the organisation is keen to attract another 150.
Evidence has shown that the effective use of volunteers can generate returns of between £2 and £8 for every £1 spent.
Stefan – ‘I started driving for the Trust in 2008. I haven’t looked back’
I started driving for the Trust in 2008 when I saw an advert asking for voluntary drivers. I haven’t looked back since.
I find the work really rewarding and feel like I’m making a difference to a person’s life. Some of my customers live by themselves and have mobility problems which can prevent them from leaving the house. Without our service these people could become isolated, which could have a real impact on their wellbeing.
One of the best bits of the job is the people I meet. I’ve developed a real bond with my clients as I’ve been their driver for many years.
Michael – ‘To see their smiling faces as I greet them is worth its weight in gold’
I joined Volunteer Services as a way of being able to share the wealth of knowledge I have attained over the years. It’s really rewarding to see people move forward with their lives as a result of the help I’ve been able to give. The patients seem to blossom once they have mastered various computer/tech skills … (Westlands).
And in turn, it’s assisted me to become a qualified tutor, gaining personal confidence while helping students attain their own goals in their lives … (Recovery College).
“As a driver in Volunteer Services, it’s great to know I’m being of help to those people needing just ‘a little bit extra’.
And to see their smiling faces as I greet them is worth its weight in gold.
Norman – ‘I enjoy it that much I’ve come back from retirement three times’
My voluntary services driving career started 17 years ago with the Red Cross. I found this work hugely rewarding so when I saw an advert requesting drivers for the Trust I decided to sign up.
When I first signed up there was only one other driver; but now there are four of us. I drive two days a week mainly taking people with dementia and Alzheimer’s to medical appointments or social groups set up by the Trust.
I get a great deal out this and really enjoy talking to my customers and hearing what they have to say. If there is anyone out there who has been thinking about becoming a voluntary driver then I would recommend joining our team. I enjoy it that much that I’ve come back from retirement three times.
*Photo shows a Humber Social Group outing to Hornsea with, from left, a busker, Volunteer Mark Goodall (red shorts), Volunteer Stefan Williamson (seated), and Volunteer Services Administrator Barbara Failey (behind wall).