NHS volunteers call for boost to ranks as part of 70th birthday festivities

‘Volunteering for all’ is the inspiring message of a national awareness week being celebrated by local NHS trusts in their landmark birthday year.

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Volunteers’ Week kicks off on Friday 1 June, an annual seven day celebration of individuals across the country who give up their valuable spare time to help others.

This year, staff and volunteers from the county’s three NHS trusts, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) are getting together to urge more people to come forward and volunteer as part of the much-loved institution’s 70th birthday celebrations.

Nigel Brasier volunteers at ULHT’s Pilgrim hospital in Boston and scooped this year’s coveted volunteer of the year award at the Trust’s glittering staff awards.

“I have met so many fantastic volunteers in my short time at Pilgrim and the work they do is beyond amazing,” said Nigel.

“People should definitely give it a go because it’s the little things like talking, listening or making a cup of tea which can make patients feel better during their stay.

“In my role I make sure other volunteers are fully trained and also help new ones that come into the hospital.”

Over at LPFT service user Neave Taylor volunteers his time to help provide music to patients on the Trust’s older adult inpatient Rochford unit.

He said he enjoys performing to the patients because he believes that music does a lot to help people with mental health problems.

“The best thing about volunteering is the pleasure I get from knowing I’ve helped someone who may have been depressed and then enjoyed the music,” said Neave.

Sarah McKown, Head of Clinical Services for Quality, Safety and Risk at LCHS said: “Thank you to each one of our volunteers, whose unwavering support and dedication is enormously valued by our staff, patients and carers.

“Volunteers currently support many of our services across the whole of Lincolnshire, including working alongside our teams in community hospitals, local clinics and rehabilitation sessions, helping with everything from making refreshments to being a friendly, reassuring face to help with activities.

“We are very proud of the work our volunteers do and the difference they make to the care we are able to provide.”

Back at ULHT David Knight, Senior Chaplain and Bereavement Services Manager said volunteers also play a vital role in offering some often much needed spiritual support to patients.

“Our volunteers are specially trained in chaplaincy and work closely with ward areas to provide friendship, comfort and spiritual support during a patient’s hospital stay,” said David.

“Patients really appreciate having a friendly person to talk to, especially those who would not get regular family and friends visiting. The volunteers also become a familiar face for patients who are in hospital for longer periods of time.

“We are very keen to develop the chaplaincy volunteer team and aspire to have a volunteer on each ward across all the hospital sites.”