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 was held during national Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June) and recognised the commitment and dedication of local people who support the hospital.
Volunteer roles include 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 with 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.”
Of those celebrated, 49 of them volunteer at the East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre and offer support through complementary therapies and counselling for people living with cancer. Other volunteers help to run Radio Redhill, the hospital radio station for East Surrey Hospital.
For anyone 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.