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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Recognising the contribution of our volunteers

01/06/2020

This week, 1 - 7 June 2020, is Volunteers' Week across the UK.

Volunteers' Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

It goes without saying that volunteers have never been so important.

So, we would like to take this opportunity to say a huge 'Thank you' to all of our volunteers, whether they are helping us out through our Voluntary Services Department, the wonderful League of Friends on all our hospital sites, or working with Oxford Hospitals Charity to support our patients and our staff.

Volunteers are vital to the charity Supporting the Sick Newborn and their Parents (SSNAP), Sobell House Hospice and the OUH Chaplaincy, and we should also take time to mention our Council of Governors, all of whom have taken on their roles on a voluntary basis.

Throughout the early months of 2020 volunteers have been the backbone of our efforts to support our staff while they care for patients in our hospitals with COVID-19. We have had an amazing team of willing hands working with the charity and Trust at each hospital site through the most difficult days.

Volunteers have always been a wonderful addition to our workforce across all of our hospital sites. Many come to help us on a weekly basis, and give their time freely to help others.

On our wards, where we look after many patients with dementia and other degenerative diseases, volunteers are at hand to comfort and reassure them during their hospital stay, and even bring music and art activities to the bedside. 

Volunteers also work as guides for our patients and visitors, staff help desks, support administration and clerical staff on our wards, and raise funds through selling books at stalls on our sites, and refreshments and other helpful items in League of Friends shops and cafés, with money raised spent on equipment to enhance patient care.

Our hospital radio stations, Radio Cherwell and Radio Horton, are run entirely by an extremely dedicated and passionate group of enthusiasts, on an entirely voluntary basis.

Volunteers support our staff in many ways. One new member of staff commented:

"On my induction week I spent most of the time lost! I needed to collect my uniform and asked John where I had to go. He took me all the way down in the lift, to the right room and waited until I had found the right person. It made my day and proud to be working in such a caring hospital."

We are so lucky to have such dedicated people in our team, and we couldn't do what we do without the help that they provide.

Pictured: OUH volunteer Kate Hillier at the Horton General Hospital