North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust hosted the event on Wednesday 10 July 2018 at its Hardwick Road site in Stockton. The organisation who work with over 330 volunteers brought together around 190 delegates to celebrate their contribution to supporting the NHS on Teesside.
Paul Garvin, Chairman for the Trust opened the event with a message of gratitude for the guests “It is an absolute joy to see so many faces that give so much to our Trust in so many different ways. From the volunteer drivers making getting home safer, sooner a reality to the friendly faces greeting our sometimes nervous visiting patients at the front desks. You are the difference that makes this organisation one that people cherish.
There are many reasons why people volunteer – from meeting new people to gaining new or using old skills. For a new experience to wanting to make a difference. Whatever your reason for choosing this Trust, we hope you continue to find the motivation that helps you contribute to how we work and who we are”.
Guests were entertained by local band ‘The Evans Brothers who hail from Teesside. They also enjoyed a meal provided by the catering team at the Trust – NTH Solutions.
Paul Wharton, Volunteer Coordinator for North Tees and Hartlepool said “this is the 12th year, we have brought our very special volunteers together to celebrate their contribution to our Trust. We have around fifteen different teams who work to support pastoral care within our hospital sites. From the chaplaincy volunteers through to the meal time companions. Each and every one of them makes a difference to the people that matter most – our patients”.
This year North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust were announced as one of 12 health care organisations in England to be supported by Helpforce – a charity at the forefront of a national movement to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and our communities through the power of volunteering.
The Trust announced their ambitious ‘Home But Not Alone’ initiative at the event which aims to support patients as they leave the Stockton or Hartlepool hospitals for home. Initially this will be piloted in three areas across the organisation with the aim being to extend to the rest of the Trust by the end of the year.
Barbara Bright, Director of Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff explains more “social isolation is an issue that is prevalent in current affairs on a daily basis, we know that it exists in our region too. Sometimes the patients that stay in our hospitals do not always have support once they get home. By working with Helpforce we have been able to develop a programme that will mean anyone identified as needing that little extra support from our volunteers can have access to it. From ensuring that there is fresh milk and bread in their house as they are discharged to picking up prescriptions. The small things that really make a difference”.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust also thanked the efforts of national newspaper the Daily Mail for their efforts in helping to drive volunteer recruitment for the NHS early in 2019.