Celebrating Volunteers Week

Posted on Tue, 01/06/2021

Today (1st June) marks the start of Volunteers’ Week, a week-long annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

We want to take time to celebrate all of the people who volunteer for our Trust. Volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the NHS and to Gateshead Health Trust.

QE Gateshead offers volunteering opportunities in many areas of the hospital, such as meeting and greeting visitors in the new state-of-the-art Emergency Care Centre (ECC), working with mothers and babies in the maternity unit, taking notes and records across the hospital or helping serve at mealtimes on one of the wards.

And, more recently, a new volunteering role was introduced when visiting restrictions were introduced because of the COVID pandemic.

With patients unable to have visitors, the new Patient Experience volunteers have been instrumental in providing a friendly face to patients, helping them use technology to contact loved ones and generally being a source of support when patients need them.

Jacky Wildish is one such volunteer who has been working on the wards to enhance patient experience. She says: “It’s an amazing feeling to feel part of the process for patients and to support them in some way. I feel totally different when I’m here volunteering, it’s just lovely, I love it!”

Ellie, volunteer, said: I have been volunteering with the iPads and talking to each patient and I think it's really enhanced me wanting to go into my careers as an adult nurse. It just shows you how much the patient's needs social interaction to help them get through every day and especially when they can't see their family.”

“Even just a little chat helps the patient's each day as that's what they don't get, especially with no family coming in. Bringing new clothes in and showing them exactly what they've got, doing dominoes and playing games and just having a little chat like I said and it really helps and makes them feel a lot happier as it can be long daunting days.”

Alison Marshall, chair of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As an organisation we would like to recognise the incredible support and time that volunteers have given us. There are so many people who give up their time to help us here at the QE to improve things for our patients and we are truly grateful to them all. Their dedication and commitment is crucial to our patients, carers, staff and the wider community.”

If you’re interested in volunteering take a look at our website.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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