Dedicated hospital volunteers recognised as part of national awareness week

Long-serving NHS volunteers received recognition for their dedication to duty at a host of celebratory events across the county.

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Long-serving NHS volunteers received recognition for their dedication to duty at a host of celebratory events across the county.

A total of 29 volunteers were rewarded for an incredible 300 years of combined voluntary service during week-long celebrations at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ULHT) three main sites.

The long service awards were organised as part of this year’s national Volunteers’ Week (1 to 7 June), to acknowledge the contribution of hospital volunteers who give up their free time to assist patients and staff.

Andrew Tysoe, ULHT’s Voluntary Services Manager, said: “Without our terrific troop of volunteers, the hospitals simply could not function as they do.

“Our amazing volunteers give up a combined 4,000 hours each month, which equates to more than 200,000 positive interactions with patients and families each year.

“Over 80 of our current volunteers have put in more than five years’ service, with our longest being with us for over 30 years.

“Volunteer roles are extremely varied, from meeting and greeting patients and visitors, to helping serve meals on the wards and supporting staff with non-clinical jobs. It’s also good for you and can help reduce loneliness and increase physical activity.”

At the Lincoln County Hospital long service event, Paul Pyrah received his five year award for voluntary service on the Waddington Unit (haematology and oncology).

Paul said: “I enjoy helping people and hope that I make difference. It’s the little things I enjoy like bringing someone a cup of tea or having a little natter with them. I also enjoy helping out the housekeeping staff and ward clerk.”

Meanwhile over at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, the dedicated Heather Marshall picked up her 25 years’ service award.

Heather, who volunteers in the hospital’s chaplaincy department, said: “Pilgrim is a very special place and so important to me – I had major surgery there for cancer of the tongue in 1992.

“I had lots of prayer support from family and friends at the time, but also from the hospital chaplain. Although it was a very traumatic time, I just connected with the place and in particular the chaplaincy team.

“Now, I love taking patients down to the services on Sundays – I get so much out of it and enjoy meeting people.”

Finally, at Grantham and District Hospital, five volunteers were presented with their awards, including Shirley Mann, who received her 25 years certificate.

Part of Shirley’s voluntary duties, also in the chaplaincy department, involves accompanying the chapel services on the piano from time to time.

Andrew explained: “Shirley has a quiet and gentle way of putting people at ease and is an example to us all.”

Do you have some spare hours to give to helping out in our hospitals? Find out more information about volunteering at ULHT by visiting www.ulh.nhs.uk/jobs/working-for-us/volunteering