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Hospital celebrates volunteers making the difference

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating the work of around 350 Trust volunteers by joining in the ‘Big Celebration’ for National Volunteers Week.

National Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June 2017.  It is an annual celebration of the remarkable contribution that volunteers make across the UK each and every day.

The week provides the perfect opportunity to recognise the work of the Trust’s army of volunteers, as well as make people aware of the volunteering opportunities available at their local hospital.

Kay Gamble, Deputy Lead for Patient Experience, explained: “Volunteers at the Trust fulfil a variety of roles to assist in enhancing patient 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.

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

“Volunteers can give as little time as a few hours a week to as much as several days a week - it’s a priceless way to give something back to your local hospital and community.”

To mark the occasion and thank current volunteers for ‘making the difference’, the Trust hosted a buffet lunch on Friday 2 June at Scarborough Hospital..

Dana, aged 18, who volunteers at Scarborough Hospital, talks about her experience:

“My name is Dana Awwad and I am currently in my first year of A level at Scarborough sixth form college.

“I started volunteering at Scarborough Hospital 7 months ago, and it has been a delightful experience for me. I got to know about volunteering through the enrichment fair at college where I met the Volunteering Team from York Teaching Hospital.  I then filled in the volunteering application online and chose to volunteer on the Duke Of Kent ward because I have always been enthusiastic about working with children. In addition, I want to specialise as a pediatrician after I finish my medical degree so I wanted to know if this is the right thing for me by getting more experience at the hospital.

“Volunteering has provided me with the sense of what it is like to work in a hospital atmosphere which can put doctors and nurses under a lot of pressure. Furthermore, it is a very friendly atmosphere which always makes me look forward to going to the hospital.

“During volunteering I spend most of the time playing with the children in the playing room. The playing room helps to improve the experience of the children on the ward as a lot of the children find the activities such as painting and coloring very enjoyable. Also, I sometimes shadow one of the nurses which is a great opportunity to get to know more about the medical field. One of the most memorable days at the hospital is when we had the Christmas party and I did the face paint for the children. It made them happy and I felt that I made a change through a very little action.

“I wish to stay a volunteer for the next year of college and to keep gaining more and more experience through my volunteering days.”

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.”

05 June 2017

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