Call for more volunteers to offer 'priceless' support to patients at Northumbria Healthcare hospitals
and live on Freeview channel 276
The volunteer team, organised by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is looking to expand and diversify its ranks and will host information sessions in the coming months to encourage people to sign up.
Volunteers’ roles include facilitating ward activities, acting as befrienders, the meet and greet service at hospital entrances, working in the NVS shops, and more.
Shop volunteer Betty Scott, who has helped out at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington since it opened 30 years ago, said she still loves her role.
She said: “I have always enjoyed meeting people and volunteering has given me the opportunity to meet a range of different people and create lifelong friends over the years.
“You are a friendly face for people to see when they visit, and a smile can really make someone’s day. It is priceless.”
Meet and greeter and buggy driver Stan Noble, who has volunteered at North Tyneside General Hospital, said “age is not a barrier” to getting involved.
He added: “We are a big happy family who look after each other. That is what we are here for.
“You pick the shifts that suit you, the flexibility is there if you need time off, we will always try to cover each other.”
A survey last year showed that 93% of the 142 respondents would recommend volunteering with NVS to others, while 92% agreed that it contributes in a positive way to their personal wellbeing.
Information sessions will be held at NVS shops in Blyth Community Hospital on October 12 at 1pm, Wansbeck General Hospital on October 19 at 2pm, and NSECH in Cramlington on October 30 at 2pm, as well as at Harry’s Cafe in North Tyneside General Hospital on November 2 at 2pm.
Anyone interested can also email [email protected].