Teams at East Surrey Hospital, run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), held a celebration event to say thank you to over 250 volunteers who make a difference to patient care by providing additional support.
The event, held during Volunteers’ Week, recognised the commitment and dedication of local people who support the hospital with various roles including welcoming patients and visitors at the information desk, collecting post, running the bookshop, litter picking, maintaining the gardens and fish tanks in waiting rooms and administrative support. Long service awards were also given to those who have dedicated between five and 25 years of voluntary service.
Anne Hart, who volunteers at the east entrance information desk at East Surrey Hospital said: “I’ve been a volunteer at SASH for 12 years. Before that I was a nurse here. I arrived the day before the hospital opened. It was the hottest day in June. Sadly I had to retire from nursing early, but you never really get nursing out of your blood. It’s my first love and so I chose to volunteer here. I love helping people.”
Joy Matthews, volunteers’ manager at SASH said: “We have a diverse range of volunteers between the ages of 16 and 90 years old, who live within the local community and have experience in a variety of professional backgrounds. They are greatly valued by everyone at SASH and contribute to making a difference to continue improving patient experience, by the additional support they provide for patients and staff.”
Jane Dickson, chief nurse SASH said: “I am proud to be able to work alongside a fantastic group of volunteers who give up their time to help support colleagues in a practical and caring way to provide the best quality care to our patients.”
Amongst those celebrated, 49 volunteer at the East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre and offer support through complementary therapies and counselling for people living with cancer, along with a number of volunteers who help to run Radio Redhill, the hospital radio station for East Surrey Hospital.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, SASH is currently on the lookout for support with various roles including patient support on wards, meeting and greeting outpatients, helping SASH Charity and admin support in urology, neurology and workforce.