Volunteers who give up their spare time to help patients in NHS hospitals across Lincolnshire have been recognised for their long service.
A total of 108 volunteers who help out on wards and departments all over United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), received their Long Service Awards in a series of inaugural celebratory lunches.
At Lincoln County Hospital the combined years’ service of the volunteers amounts to a remarkable 827 years.
Bob Geldof was organising Live Aid back in 1985 when church goer Val King first started volunteering 32 years ago.
Val said she enjoys taking patients to the hospital chapel for service.
“I really enjoy working in a hospital environment and helping all the patients – you get so much out of volunteering,” said Val.
“I’ve always helped out at Lincoln hospital and take patients from the wards to the chapel. We’ve just introduced a Sunday afternoon service and they really enjoy it.
“I love interacting with all the patients and they look forward to seeing all the volunteers.”
Over at Grantham and District Hospital, a combined total of 125 years volunteering was recognised, with Pilgrim Hospital in Boston celebrating an impressive 372 year tenure.
Lead staff nurse Dawn Sellars, who works on the Woldside Unit at Louth County Hospital, said one volunteer, Beryl Pestell, always proves popular with the patients.
“Beryl came to us a volunteer 11 years ago as she wanted to give something back for the excellent hospital care her husband received,” said Dawn.
“She always gives 100% to her role, greeting people with a smile and making sure they are always in the right place.
“Her favourite clinic to help out in has always been pain management, supporting staff and patients and assisting with extra clinics – she would have volunteered seven days a week if possible I’m sure.”
At Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, 87-year-old volunteer Eileen Daubney has been helping out in the Oncology Suite for the past nine years.
Eileen, who was an Olympic Torch bearer when it came through the town back in 2012, supports patients who come into the Day Unit for cancer treatment.
“Everyone adores Eileen,” said Suite Sister Mandy Logue.
“She volunteers for us two-days-a-week, along with Pat Hiley, another of our fantastic volunteers.
“They both help to cheer the patients up – keeping them fed and watered. They also look after the staff and make sure we get a drink when we are busy.”
ULHT’s Voluntary Services Manager Andy Tysoe said: “Volunteering is a rewarding experience and this long-term commitment is very humbling.
“Having over 100 of our volunteers achieving between five and 32 years’ service, with a total of 1,300 years between them is an incredible achievement. That’s an average of over 12 years each.
“From now on, every year, we’ll be acknowledging our long-serving volunteers as they reach their five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 year milestones.
“Our ambition is to have 1,000 volunteers across the Trust by 2021, with a volunteer supporting every ward and department every single day.”
If you’re interested in volunteering for ULHT contact Andrew on 597838 or email [email protected]
In total, ULHT’s 275 volunteers take part in more than 1,400 hours’ service.