The compassion and hard work of volunteers at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was celebrated at three special tea parties.
To mark Volunteers’ Week, Hampshire Hospitals held tea parties across the Trust to thank volunteers for the amazing work they do.
The Trust currently has over 500 volunteers, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, including students who want to gain experience in healthcare, volunteers who have full time jobs and give their time during evening and weekends, and those who have retired and use their spare time to help others in their local community.
One of the volunteers who attended the tea party at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital was Jenny Gash, who has been a befriender for the past two years.
She said: “My role is to visit people who have long-term illnesses and would like someone to chat to. It’s a great way of making friends whilst also making a difference to the person.
“I decided to work for Hampshire Hospitals because my mum was cared for here and everybody were wonderful to her throughout her stay. This is just my way of giving back to the hospital and saying thank you.”
Renie Scott has just retired from volunteering after twenty-three years, starting in 1996. Renie, who is now 83, has been helping out twice a week in the volunteers’ office at Andover War Memorial Hospital.
She said: “By working in the volunteers’ office, I kept in touch with what was happening around the hospital. After all these years I will miss the wonderful people greatly.
“The party was a lovely way of getting together with other volunteers and members of staff. We all felt very appreciated!”
Magician Ian Kirk has been performing magic tricks for dementia patients at Royal Hampshire County Hospital for the last six months.
He said: “I love magic and it’s lovely to think that my tricks can make someone’s day. One time I was told that a patient hadn’t smiled for a while before my performance so it’s very rewarding to know that I can make a small difference.
“The staff are always brilliant and it’s a pleasure visiting the wards.”
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said: “It was fantastic to hear about the wide variety of things that our volunteers do for our patients.
“We are very grateful to all our volunteers for generously giving up their time to support our staff and our patients. They make a real difference in having providing care and support to those in need.
“The tea parties are just a little way of saying thank you for their continuous support. We value them so much, 365 days of the year, and it is great to be able to show them a little of this during Volunteers’ Week.”