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NHS Trust thanks volunteers with Christmas lunch

OVER 60 volunteers who contribute their time to York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust enjoyed a Christmas lunch in Ellerby’s restaurant at York Hospital on Monday 10 December, courtesy of York Teaching Hospital Charity.

The hospital charity’s own volunteers, York Hospital volunteers and those from The Friends of York Hospital were invited to the three-course lunch as a thank you for all their hard work over the last year.  They were joined by some of the Trust governors, Susan Symington, Chair, and Helen Hey, Deputy Chief Nurse.

Chief Nurse, Beverley Geary, explained: “The support 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.”

There are currently around 350 volunteers working for and with the Trust, either directly or through partner organisations.  Volunteers fulfil a variety of roles but their purpose is to enhance the patient experience.  Although volunteers do not perform any clinical roles, they are able to get some hands on experience of what it is like to help in a hospital environment alongside hospital staff.

Susan Symington added:  “People often say they volunteer because they've benefited from a service and want to put something back.  Some people say that volunteering has been a positive experience which helped them to develop skills that were useful in gaining employment.  Others enjoy social networking and make friends or say it is rewarding to see how the time they donate makes a difference both to patients and to staff.  Whatever the reason, volunteers bring tremendous value to the Trust and we are always grateful for the many volunteers who give their own time to help.”

If you are thinking of applying to join us as a volunteer, the Trust advertises volunteering opportunities at certain times throughout the year.   The next cohort for recruitment will commence on 27 January 2019.  For more information about volunteering with us, visit

10 December 2018

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“The support of the volunteers is vital to our organisation and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication." Chief Nurse, Beverley Geary.




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We are asking visitors to help us protect patients from highly contagious winter infections by not visiting friends and relatives in hospital when you have been unwell or in close contact with someone with flu or norovirus.

We are experiencing a high level of norovirus and flu in our hospitals, which has resulted in the closure of wards and bays in order to stop the spread.  Closing wards can help to contain the viruses but visitors can play a huge part and we would ask you to think carefully before paying any non-essential visits at this time.

While viruses are active year-round, winter is a prime time for norovirus, colds and influenza, commonly known as flu.  These infections are highly contagious, so when they are brought into a hospital environment they can easily spread to staff and vulnerable hospital patients.

Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.  It's also called the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it's more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year.  Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days.

Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.  It is a major killer of vulnerable people.  People aged 65 and over and people with long-term health conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, are particularly at risk.  If you have flu, please stay away until you are better.  The virus is highly infectious and outbreaks can happen quickly.

Please stay away if you have signs or symptoms of either virus, and do not visit until you have been clear of symptoms for at least 48 hours.  If symptoms persist (more than 48 hours), the advice is to phone your GP or NHS 111.