We’re celebrating our great volunteers

Yesterday we marked the beginning of “Volunteers Week” (1-7 June) with a special thanksgiving service in the Chapel. More than 30 people came together to celebrate the generous support given by volunteers across the hospital.

Erika volunteer at receptionThe service was opened by Krishna Sethia, Urology Consultant and High Sheriff of Norfolk and Adrian Woodbridge, Head of Spiritual Healthcare, who thanked volunteers for their contribution.

“Our volunteers are an important and essential part of every team, right across our hospital,” said Sally Dyson, Voluntary Services Manager.

“There are many ways in which volunteers can support us, either on the hospital site or out in the community, where they can help patients as they return home from hospital, settling them in and signposting people to sources of help.

“In return, our volunteers often find that being part of our volunteering family is fun, improves mental health and offers a sense of camaraderie. It can also bring benefits such as new friendships and reduced loneliness and social isolation.”

Throughout the week members of the Executive team are shadowing volunteers to gain first-hand experience of their roles. Yesterday (1 June) CEO Sam Higginson volunteered with Butterfly Volunteer Carol on Dunston ward.

“I witnessed first-hand the amazing work of our Butterfly Volunteers and words can’t express my gratitude for their invaluable contributions,” said Sam.

“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to spend time with Carol on Dunston ward and hear about her work with patients. We have over 30 Butterfly Volunteers, like Carol, whose dedication and tireless efforts to support end-of-life patients are truly admirable.”

Also yesterday Erika Denton spent an hour in East Out-patients reception with volunteers Veronica and Anne.

Sam Buttefrly volunteer“The volunteers who work at our reception areas carry out a very important job as they’re the first people who most of our patients come into contact when they arrive at the hospital,” she said.

“The volunteers represent all of us working at the hospital and they do a sterling job offering useful and precise information to everybody. Spending time with our volunteers has been inspiring for me and their dedication and selflessness in supporting our patients is fantastic.”

Today (Friday 2 June), Chairman Tom Spink helped volunteers working on Older People Medicine and in the Discharge Lounge. Next Monday (5 June) Rachel Cocker, Deputy Chief Nurse, will be in ED and on Tuesday (6 June), Prof Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse, will make Safety Netting Calls to patients who have been recently discharged and are considered not at risk.

On Wednesday 7 June we’re a hosting an event in the East Atrium to showcase the work of our volunteers.

Volunteers from ED, Older People’s Medicine, discharge and end-of life-care will be available to discuss their roles. There will also be a demonstration of therapeutic hand massages given to patients by specialist volunteers, and a visit from the Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs.