Celebrating our Hospital Volunteers in Volunteers Week 3-9 June

31 May 2024, 3:29 p.m.

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities. We particularly thank our amazing band of hospital volunteers.

The week-long event starts on the first Monday in June every year. It’s a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank the UK’s incredible volunteers for all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole.

A big thank you

We want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all our Trust volunteers. We currently have more than 270 volunteers across both sites supporting our staff and patients in a variety of different roles. Our volunteers show up every day with a smile and give up their own time to help us deliver the best care possible to our patients. We are very grateful for everything they do!

Our volunteers provide support in a wide variety of roles from being the friendly face to greet and welcome you to our hospitals, supporting cognitive stimulation groups for our patients living with dementia, tending to our gardens, helping with admin and ward duty tasks or simply keeping our patients company whilst at the hospital. Being in hospital can be an anxious time for patients, their family and friends and volunteers can really help ease the burden by making a difference in their experience.

Not only do we as an organisation benefit from the time offered by a volunteer but an individual can also benefit from volunteering. Did you know there are a number of significant health benefits to a volunteer including improved quality of life, improved ability to cope with ill health, a healthier lifestyle and meeting new people which can improve self-esteem and sense of purpose. Volunteering can also be the gateway for young people who may be considering a career in a healthcare setting, offering the opportunity to understand the day-to-day running of a busy, acute hospital.

Our volunteers range in age between 17 and 87 and generously give us in excess of 1,000 hours of voluntary support every week. The roles of our volunteers are always expanding as we discover new ways people can help us. Read more about volunteering at our Trust

As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too.

  • An estimated 14.2m people in the UK volunteered through a group, club or organisation in 2021/22.
  • Almost one in five (16%) people report volunteering at least once a month (about 8.3m people in the UK).
  • More than half of the UK population gets involved in informal volunteering – but this is less visible. Informal volunteering can involve things like going shopping, providing childcare or doing housework for free for someone who is not a relative or a friend.

Sue's story

Sue Williams' dedicated service as a volunteer at our trust spans a remarkable 11 years. Her journey began in the Specialists Outpatient Department, transitioning into her current role in our Maternity Ward GRH.

After retiring from working with special needs children, Sue still wanted to keep active and spend her time doing something she felt was useful and worthwhile.

Sue says: “Being a volunteer means a lot to me, it is the part of my life where I can be myself. The social element is excellent, anyone who knows me will know I love to chat. I love having a routine and everyone here is so pleasant. I enjoy feeling useful as it gives me immense happiness. I have no plans to stop anytime soon.”

Martyn's story

Martyn Ridge's devoted service as a volunteer at our Trust extends an incredible 8 years. His journey commenced as a Wayfinder stationed at the Atrium Desk of GRH, transitioning into his current role as a Wayfinder in the main Tower Block Entrance.

Martyn started volunteering while working and continues to dedicate his time to volunteering in retirement, amongst other activities such as swing dancing.

Martin says: “Being a volunteer allows me to help make someone’s visit to the hospital a little bit better for them. I enjoy being able to help visitors and colleagues navigate their way through the hospital and smiling as they go past.”

Being a volunteer allows me to help patients get through their bad times. It is worthwhile if I can turn their fear into a smile

Judy Maloney, Hospital Volunteer

Judy's story

Judy Maloney’s loyal service as a volunteer at our Trust extends to an amazing 5 years. Her journey has always seen her stationed in the Oncology Department, helping patients with their scalp cooling treatment.

After retiring from running a children's charity, she spotted one of our social media posts calling for volunteers and thought “That’s for me”. Judy explains that her department aims to get as many patients as they can, to ring that bell.

Judy says: “I am lucky as where I am stationed, I get to build close relationships with all staff, visitors, and most importantly the patients. I have made some lifetime friends while volunteering."

During the week, we are also holding our annual Volunteers’ Long Service Awards event (5 June), which gives us the opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their dedication and commitment; we will be presenting awards for 5,10, 15, 20 and 25 years’ service. We thank you all so much for everything you do!