Hospital trust to celebrate work of 'inspirational' volunteers

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Staff at Southampton's university hospitals are set to showcase the work of their 1,000-strong team of “inspirational” volunteers at events from Thursday (1 June) as part of Volunteers' Week.

The national celebration, which runs from 1 to 7 June, will see the voluntary services team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust highlight the achievements of individuals and teams and promote opportunities for prospective volunteers to explore.

Volunteers at UHS carry out a range of roles across Southampton General, the Princess Anne and Southampton Children's hospitals, as well as at hospice Countess Mountbatten House.

These can include admin and clerical support, interpreting services, mealtime assistance and helping patients to complete surveys and friends and family tests. There are also roles within Southampton Hospital Radio and Radio Lollipop, the League of Friends tea bars and shops and services such as chaplaincy and the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre.

In addition to giving their time, their work helps to fund a variety of items and projects, with the League of Friends donating more than £800,000 over the past five years used to purchase items ranging from walking frames to hi-tech medical equipment.

Separately, the League of Friends of the Eye Unit has donated more than £500,000 to the eye unit at Southampton General Hospital to fund pioneering equipment and support developments such as the UK's first injection 'conveyor belt' system to give age-related macular degeneration patients quicker access to sight-saving injections.

Carrie Smith, voluntary services manager at UHS, said: “Volunteers' Week is a nice opportunity for us to stop half way through the year and just take time to notice how our volunteers help us to support our patients, often in their quiet way, and for us as staff to take time to say thanks for their continued support.

“We are extremely fortunate to have so many inspirational volunteers who already give their time so freely and make a real difference to our patients in so many ways, but we always need more people to help, so our stands will show people who may be interested how they can make a difference too.”

The voluntary services team will have display stands situated at Southampton General Hospital’s main entrance from 9am until 5pm on Thursday through to Tuesday where people can meet the team and find out more. Alternatively, visit www.uhs.nhs.uk/volunteering or call 023 8120 4688.

Also during Volunteers' Week, four talented local bands will take to the stage for a special performance to raise money for Radio Lollipop, the volunteer-run radio station which broadcasts to the wards at Southampton Children's Hospital and provides volunteers to spend time with patients three evenings a week.

All proceeds from Lollifest VI, which takes place at the Alexandra Beer Emporium from 7pm on Saturday (3 June), will help provide care, comfort and play for young patients. Tickets cost £3.50 in advance from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/402664 or will be £5 on the night. Doors open at 7pm, with the first act due on at 7.30pm.

Posted on Tuesday 30 May 2017