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Hospital celebrates valued volunteers

Martin Tunney volunteer in ED

It’s National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and York Hospital has been celebrating the fantastic work of their volunteers.

This year, Volunteers’ Week is about volunteering for all – celebrating the huge range of people who give their time in so many ways.

With over 320 volunteers, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a special thank you for all those people who give their time to help others.

Sarah Patten, Volunteers Services administrator, said: “Volunteers at the Trust fulfil a variety of roles that help give patients a better experience. Although volunteers do not perform any clinical roles, they are able to get hands-on experience of what it is like to work in a hospital environment alongside staff as part of a team.

“They help in a range of volunteering roles across our hospitals and in various departments, from dining companions to dementia volunteers. This includes volunteer visitors, welcomers, chaplaincy and charity workers.”

In the past year a new volunteering role has been introduced in the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Retired financial advisor Martin Tunney, who lives near Helmsley, is one of the volunteers helping out in the department’s busy A&E waiting area.

Martin said: “I enjoy volunteering in this environment, it’s always busy and I feel as though I’m really making a contribution. It can be something simple like collecting wheelchairs to make sure they are always available for the very sick people that come into A&E, to helping people with directions. I also hand out and collect the Friends and Family survey which provides important feedback for the department to help them make improvements.

“In my previous career I spent a lot of time talking to people which really helps when you are in a busy A&E. When people come in distressed or anxious I feel as though I can make them feel a bit better by explaining things or answering their queries. It’s very satisfying to give a bit back and to do something practical to help.”

Chief Nurse, Beverley Geary, said: “The work of the volunteers is vital to our organisation and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication. They make life that little bit better for many people in hospital in so many different ways. Whether their role is to welcome visitors, serve beverages on the wards, support patients as a dining companion or visitor, or to help raise funds we are extremely grateful for their help.”

Staff will be in the main entrance at York Hospital on Thursday 7 June as part of National Volunteers' Week and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in volunteering opportunities.

The next recruitment period for volunteers for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust starts on Sunday 1 July to Sunday 15 July.

The Trust has an online application process which can be found here

05 June 2018

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"It’s very satisfying to give a bit back and to do something practical to help.”

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