Volunteers' Week is a chance to pay tribute to the numerous jobs and services that are provided across University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust by people who freely give up their time to help others.
Our volunteers help with a wide range of tasks from conducting surveys to meet and greet services, mealtime assistance and pastoral care, which all complement the clinical services provided by the Trust.
Many hours are also given towards fundraising activities organised both through the Southampton Hospital Charity, which raises money for projects across the hospital sites, and charities that are linked to particular departments and wards.
Friends of PICU is a charity that raises money for vital equipment to support the care of critically ill children. Families and friends of children who have been cared for on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) raise funds for equipment and services so that the ward can continue to provide the very best care for those most in need.
Behind all the fundraising is a core group of volunteers who between them give many hours each week to ensuring Friends of PICU is able to channel the incredible goodwill received into meaningful donations to the unit from those who have been touched by the care they have received there.
As we mark Volunteers’ Week, secretary of Friends of PICU Mark Hilder pays tribute to the work of the volunteers.
Mark said: “Having set up a small charity office within the ward facilities, volunteers have set times in the office each week and meet families, offer cups of tea, distribute information packs or are simply there to lend a listening ear.
“We offer non-clinical support to families who find themselves in PICU, when it is often needed to just talk or listen.
“Often families with children on the ward have other siblings so sometimes it can just be a help to have someone around who can provide the young siblings with toys or interaction so that parents have the time to take a breathVolunteers Week.
“Our aim is to give that sort of support in what is a difficult and stressful time for families admitted to PICU. We are extremely grateful to all our volunteers who help in and out of the hospital – they are a vital part of the charity”.
The charity was set up in 2006 and has raised money to fund a broad range of equipment and services that each and every family who are cared for on PICU will benefit from.
Mark added: “Many of us who are involved do so because we have seen first hand the excellent care provided here at Southampton PICU”.
“For me that sums up the great quality of the NHS, and why it is important to not only celebrate Volunteers Week, but also the NHS70 events. People appreciate the care they have received and want to make sure that continues for others in the future too.”
Friends of PICU are always looking for volunteers to either pledge their time or skills that could help the charity in the future. If you think you could help contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out how you could support future fundraising events visit friendsofpicu.org.uk. More information about our PICU can be found here.
Posted on Tuesday 5 June 2018