Volunteering – Rewarding for Everyone

Chancellor Gordon Brown has declared 2005 as The Year of the Volunteer, the National Health Service is encouraging people to volunteer for the health service as one of their New Year's resolutions.

Investing in Volunteers

Nationally volunteers contribute 52 million hours a year to the health service. To ensure that their work is recognised and the role of the volunteer is formalised the Strategic Health Authority have funded Volunteering England to run a pilot scheme for an Investing in Volunteers quality mark.

The scheme, trialled in three NHS trusts, has been successful in proving that policies and procedures are not just in place to recruit, train and support volunteers but that these policies and procedures really do translate into good practice in volunteer management.

With this good practice in place, volunteers can contribute fully to the health improvement of local communities. The following NHS trusts took part in the pilot scheme:

  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust
  • King's Lynn and Wisbech Hospital NHS Trust and Fenland Primary Care Trust
  • Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge.

The Norfolk and Norwich and King's Lynn and Wisbech have both now achieved the standard and will shortly be receiving the award. Addenbrooke’s are scheduled to complete the standard in the next few weeks.

Margaret Barrett, Director of Workforce and Development said: We wanted to show how much we value the role that volunteers play in supporting patients and service users and the health and social care sector as a whole, and the award scheme seemed an ideal way to do it. We hope that the scheme will help to identify where volunteers contribute and the diversity of their roles, and how we might better support volunteering in health and social care.

A spokesperson for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust said: “Volunteers are an important and valued part of hospital life at the Norfolk and Norwich providing helping hands in many areas. Working towards the Investors in Volunteers Award has resulted in a positive input by all involved to ensure that the Norfolk and Norwich has lots of scope to offer would-be volunteers a rewarding experience”.

Volunteer of the Year Award Volunteering England is also running a Volunteer of the Year Award with the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority. The awards will be announced on 8 April 2005. People wishing to nominate local volunteers should contact Volunteering England on 0845 305 6979, the closing date for nominations is 31 December 2004.  

Further volunteer information

The Year of the Volunteer 2005

Gordon Brown declared 2005 the Year of the Volunteer with a calendar of events focusing on different types of volunteering. January 2005 focuses on volunteers in health care. The essence of the month is to both celebrate and promote volunteering.  The themes for the month have been agreed as:

  • Volunteers bring something unique to health and social care
  • The statutory sector is a valid place to volunteer
  • Volunteering is good for your mental and physical health
  • Anyone and everyone can volunteer to support health in some way.

For further information about the year of events visit: http://www.volunteering.org.uk/missions.php?id=941&PHPSESSID=b0421ff8b7864a2c39c7489e1d1b86c9

Volunteer of the Year Award

Volunteering England is running the Volunteer of the Year Award scheme and is asking for nominations from employers, patients, service users and carers, staff members and volunteers.  The award will be given to volunteers who have made a special contribution, who deserve recognition for their enthusiasm and commitment to volunteering with health and social care. 

The shortlist will be announced in January 2005 with the presentation of the awards scheduled for 8 April 2005. Winning volunteers will receive a £150 voucher for a self-development opportunity from a local education provider.

 Local Volunteering     

We have a dedicated team of volunteers at NNUH who provide a valuable and important service to our patients, visitors and staff.

Some volunteers help with our Meet and Greet service to help patients and relatives find their way round the hospital, others help on wards, and in clinics and perform a wide variety of duties.  

To become a volunteer we ask for a minimum commitment of 3 and a half hours a week and our volunteers receive expenses. Please visit the Voluntary Services section of the website to find out more.

It is a very rewarding role and to enquire about becoming a hospital volunteer contact the Volunteers' Office on 01603 286060 or email diana.welsh@nnuh.nhs.uk

Friday 17th of December 2004 02:00:34 PM