Over 100 volunteers have stepped forward to help Southern Health throughout the pandemic by distributing vital PPE and wellbeing packs to staff as well as transporting urgent swab tests.
Dominic Lodge, Community Development Lead, thanked the volunteers for their hard work in helping support staff throughout the crisis. Dominic said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people wanting to volunteer and are extremely grateful for their support and desire to be of service to patients and staff.”
Vicky, who is one of the volunteers, said, “I have loved doing the deliveries for Southern Health, knowing I am doing my little bit and discovering all the different locations."
Another volunteer said, “I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to volunteer. I have really enjoyed the last two days - it has given me a real sense of purpose. If I can help again please let me know. “
Sophie Street, Quality Improvement Facilitator for Southern Health, was redeployed to take on the role of improving the process for recruiting volunteers. Sophie says “We wanted to make it easier to apply and quicker to get the volunteers through the door. We have now reduced the time for volunteers to apply from around two weeks to only 30 minutes or so, all whilst ensuring the security and safety measures are still adhered to.
“I am so proud of this and am sure that this new way of working will continue after the pandemic. It has been great to chat to people who have signed up to help us because they are furloughed, working reduced hours or just have the time to help. I am thankful for all their help and flexibility. “
Volunteers play a vital role across the Trust and within the NHS. In fact, a study by the Kings Fund found that over 70 percent of frontline staff agree that volunteering in hospitals adds value for patients and staff. With COVID-19 placing an even greater emphasis on the role of the volunteer and a renewed interest in supporting the NHS in whatever way possible, there is no better time to get involved.
You can find out more about becoming a volunteer on Southern Health’s here