Volunteers’ Week takes place every year on 1-7 June and while this year volunteers may be put on hold or their roles may have changed, it’s more important than ever to appreciate the work they do all year round.
Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.
Some volunteers may have taken on coronavirus-related roles to help communities and alleviate pressure on health services and others may be on hold, eagerly waiting to return. People are stepping up in ways we have never seen before and we want to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers and recognise their hard work and dedication.
We have over 100 registered volunteers across our sites within Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, many of whom have been placed on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Our voluntary services team have been maintaining contact with all volunteers, ensuring they feel supported during these uncertain and challenging times.
Wendy Spratt, Voluntary Services Manager at CNTW, said: “Our volunteers donate their time, energy and enthusiasm to a wide variety of non-clinical activities to help improve the experience of our patients and carers. Volunteers complement the work of healthcare staff to provide the best possible care.
“We are thankful for the support we receive from our healthcare staff and by working together we can provide appropriate volunteer roles. I am also incredibly grateful to have Becca and Joanne within my team, their hard work and enthusiasm supporting volunteer involvement, ensures volunteering remains safe, effective and rewarding for all.
“We strive to make the Trust a place where people are positive about volunteering and the impact volunteers can have.”
This week may be different from the usual Volunteers’ Week celebrations and events but that doesn’t mean we can’t value the difference volunteers make to our organisation.
Our volunteers offer social and therapeutic support to service users on a ward or within a day service, support staff in other services such as the library or chaplaincy, and provide practical assistance in activities such as the hospital shop and gardening and woodwork projects.
During the coronavirus pandemic some volunteers have helped send wellbeing packs to over 1,000 patients across inpatient and community services, supporting staff within the Patient Information Centre.
Volunteering offers many opportunities, allowing people to develop new skills, meet new people and give something back. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to help volunteers’ wellbeing too.
To search for volunteering opportunities in your area go to https://do-it.org/
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is a provider of mental health and disability services.