CNTW launches first ever Volunteer Involvement Strategy

Posted: 12/06/23

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has launched its first ever Volunteer Involvement Strategy.

Wendy Spratt, Head of Volunteer Involvement, said: “For more than 30 years volunteers have played a key role at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) and our predecessor Trusts.

“They encourage others, complement the work of our staff, and help us provide the highest possible levels of care. Our volunteers are amazing, dedicated, and generous people who give their time freely and make a huge impact.

“Volunteering benefits the volunteer, too. We have seen many times how volunteering can help people to boost their confidence and self-esteem, learn new skills, and feel more connected with their local community. In fact, many volunteers choose to come and work at CNTW in many different roles after volunteering with us.

“I’m so excited to launch our first Volunteer Involvement Strategy, which will support us to recruit more volunteers and develop even more meaningful roles for them to support our healthcare staff.”

Many volunteers, patients, and staff have all been engaged in creating the strategy. It was launched at a celebration event in Gosforth, Newcastle on Friday 9 June.

Attendees enjoyed the chance to mingle and meet fellow staff and volunteers, a volunteer-themed bingo game, a video celebrating the many different volunteers and staff across the Trust, and a poem written and read by a volunteer. Stewart Watts, one of the Trust’s Chaplains, played and sang great music throughout the event.

Each person who attended the event was also gifted a succulent houseplant, grown by the vocational rehabilitation team at Hopewood Park Hospital (run by CNTW). The team supports patients to enjoy gardening and learn new skills as part of their recovery.

The dedicated Voluntary Services team within CNTW work to ensure that volunteers are recruited into roles, screened, trained, and supported safely and effectively. They pay close attention to volunteers’ wellbeing, and their personal development.

Many of the volunteering opportunities currently available at CNTW involve supporting social activities with patients such as walking and talking, accompany them to exercise therapy, playing board games, watching films, and gardening, accessing local community groups, and seeking feedback from patients and carers.

For a copy of the strategy, please email [email protected] .

If you are interested in volunteering at CNTW, you can find out more about volunteering on our website.