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NHS Trust praises volunteers

An NHS Trust has paid tribute to its volunteers after figures showed they complete a total of 15,000 hours’ work for the organisation every year. Humber NHS Foundation Trust marked Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1st to 7th June, by sending each of its 100 helpers a certificate and thanking them in person.

Volunteer Co-ordinator Samantha Grey told Beverley FM: “Our Trust has some really special volunteers who are very passionate about making a difference to our service users. Collectively, our volunteers give a huge amount of their time freely – a contribution which should be celebrated by our organisation.”

The Trust’s volunteers all have an interest in mental health and have retired from related professions or are keen to broaden their work or personal experience. They work across the organisation in roles ranging from driving and gardening to supporting activity groups for recovering stroke patients.

Ms Grey said the volunteers enhanced patient experience, supported staff and were part of work which benefited the whole community. She said: “Some service users respond very well to volunteers as they can appear to be more of a friendly and informal face, able to give individual attention in a way that staff often can’t.

“Volunteers can have different backgrounds to staff, so they might be able to offer a different skill set, produce new approaches, creative ideas, real excitement and enthusiasm. We have even employed several volunteers as we wanted to hang on to them.”

Although the number of volunteers who work for the Trust has doubled in two years, the organisation is keen to attract another 150. Evidence has shown that the effective use of volunteers can generate returns of between £2 and £8 for every £1 spent.