Award nominations for committed volunteers

Volunteer Drivers being filmed for the Helpforce awards

Volunteers at a local NHS Trust have been celebrated after being nominated for two prestigious awards.

The national Helpforce Champions Awards 2019, which recognises the contribution to volunteering in the NHS, took place today (25 October) in London to celebrate the exciting ways in which volunteers across the country are giving their time to benefit patients, staff, and communities.

The volunteer drivers team and volunteer co-ordinator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Hospital Foundation Trust were nominated.

While the trophies were won by colleagues and volunteers from different trusts, Volunteer Co-ordinator Paul Wharton says there are still reasons to celebrate.

“Our nominated drivers do an incredible job and I’m thrilled they were recognised today.”

He said: “It sounds like a cliché, but it was brilliant just to be nominated.

“Our volunteers do an amazing job throughout the Trust.

“I was thrilled to be nominated as volunteer leader as it reflects the work of so many people, not least Volunteer Support Officer Lindsay Rutherford-Hoe and our senior management team.

“Our nominated drivers do an incredible job and I’m thrilled they were recognised today.

“The volunteer driver scheme started around five years ago. The team use their own cars to take patients who can’t use public transport, or have no vehicle, to and from our hospitals for outpatient appointments. They also take some patients home after operations and they can drop off medication.

“This helps the whole Trust as two of the common causes of delays for patients leaving hospital are having no lift home or are waiting for medication. Our volunteer drivers play a valuable role in the turnover of beds.

“I’d like to congratulate all the winners, and in particular colleagues from South Tees NHS Foundation Trust on being named winners of the Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity in Volunteering award.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of Helpforce, said:

“It is fantastic to see so many brilliant examples of innovation, great practice, commitment, and real passion for patient care and support for staff across the NHS in the UK. It is a privilege to hold these awards and celebrate volunteers across the UK.”

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