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Dedication and generosity of volunteers praised at Trust thank you event

Ian McKee, voluntary services manager, with Christine Hinchley, who was thanked for giving an incredible 30 years of service to West Suffolk Hospital as a volunteerIan McKee, voluntary services manager, with Christine Hinchley, who was thanked for giving an incredible 30 years of service to the West Suffolk Hospital as a volunteer

The generosity of NHS volunteers was celebrated at our Trust’s annual thank you event on Wednesday, 12 June.

Forty-five volunteers received long service awards from Trust chief executive Stephen Dunn CBE, clocking up 415 years of service between them. One volunteer, Christine Hinchley, from Bury St Edmunds, was thanked for giving an incredible 30 years of service to West Suffolk Hospital as a volunteer in the Friends Shop.

Finally, Joshua Watkins, who has been volunteering on the Trust’s six-month volunteer student programme, received the Dr Damian Kershaw Award.

Volunteers studentJoshua Watkins, centre, receiving the Dr Damian Kershaw Award from Mrs Jackie Kershaw, left, and Angela Pearce, right, award sponsors

This award was founded in memory of a former Trust volunteer who went onto a successful career in medicine, but sadly died aged 28. Sponsored by the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital charity and Dr Kershaw’s mother, Jackie, the award celebrates the achievements of a young person who has shown outstanding commitment to the Trust whilst on their placement.

Jackie Kershaw, who was on the award panel, said: “I have been judging this award for 16 years now, and, as ever, the task of choosing a winner was difficult. Joshua stood out because his determination to work in medicine, however challenging, is courageous. I wish every success to him for his studies at university, and to all the Trust’s student volunteers – they are the future of the NHS.”

Trust chief executive Stephen Dunn CBE, said: “It was a privilege to attend, speak, and hand out long service awards at our Trust volunteer thank you event, alongside my executive team. Our volunteers are the icing on the cake at our hospital, and truly make such a difference to improve the experience of our patients and staff.”

Ian Mckee, voluntary services manager, said: “The dedication and generosity of our incredible volunteers never fails to inspire my colleagues and I, and this event is just a small token of our gratitude for the time, effort and compassion our volunteers have given to our Trust.

“The impact our volunteers have on patient care cannot be underestimated; they collectively gave nearly 50,000 hours of time to our Trust last year – what a heroic achievement! I am extremely proud of our voluntary services team and the selfless people who give their valuable time to support their community, and welcome anyone who would like to support our NHS Trust to get in touch.”

At the West Suffolk Hospital and the Newmarket Community Hospital volunteers support many areas of the Trust, including serving customers in the Friends Charity shop, supporting patients with wheelchairs, gardening, supporting the chaplaincy, and being end-of-life ward companions.

The Trust is also working in partnership with HelpForce, a community interest company helping to develop the roles of NHS volunteers, by working with partners to create community-based roles.

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

 

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Volunteers at the Trust thank you event

Volunteers at the Trust thank you event