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Record-breaking volunteers

On Wednesday 14 June West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) thanked over 400 volunteers who gave a record-breaking 47,358 hours of time to the hospital last year. Cream teas were served by the Trust’s executive team before an awards ceremony to celebrate their hard work and dedication was held.

This year, 49 long service awards were handed out by Trust chairman Roger Quince, to volunteers who, between them, have given 530 years of service, with one volunteer even congratulated on 35 years’ service.

Around 30 students who completed the Trust’s six month student volunteer programme last year received a student volunteer service badge, with Joshua Hayden and Freddie Allum awarded joint winners of the Dr Damian Kershaw Award, in recognition of their enthusiasm and commitment to their student volunteering.

The Dr Damian Kershaw Award is named after a former Trust volunteer who went onto a successful career in medicine but sadly died aged 28. The award is sponsored by the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital and Dr Kershaw’s mother, Jackie, who said: “All the students agree that volunteering can be life changing and enhancing. Some begin feeling shy and nervous, but then grow in confidence. For others it can confirm whether or not a career in a medical profession is for them. While gaining experience, they are also giving to others through their hospital volunteering. This year the joint winners, Freddie and Joshua, both display the high standards required by this award.”

Linda Murrell, voluntary services manager, said: “We celebrate and thank all our volunteers for their dedicated commitment to supporting our hospital in so many ways, and enhancing our quality of care and the experience our patients have. Over 47,000 hours of donated time by people of all ages from all walks of life is a marvellous achievement. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to join them in supporting their local hospital. We also have roles available in our community services at Newmarket Community Hospital and Glastonbury Court care home in Bury St Edmunds.”

Volunteers fulfill a variety of roles at the hospital, including helping on the wards at mealtimes, spending time with patients who have dementia, raising funds for the hospital through the Friends’ Shop and welcoming patients and visitors at clinics and receptions. Specialist bleep volunteers collect and deliver medications to wards, while others help in areas across the hospital: operating theatres, the Eye Treatment Centre, and in the chaplaincy and gardens.

For more information about volunteering opportunities at the WSFT, contact the voluntary services team on 01284 713169 or email voluntary.services@wsh.nhs.uk

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