Volunteers' Week 2020
Today marks the start of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 – 7 June. The week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.
This year, there has been an extraordinary national response from people wanting to volunteer and support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes those that expressed an interest in the NHS Volunteer Responders initiative that launched last month to support people in England who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. We are aware of a host of other organisations and charities that are also supporting patients with their shopping, prescriptions or general transport needs.
At CLCH, we want to give a special thanks to all of the people that have come forward to volunteer with us during this unprecedented time.
More than 200 volunteers have registered with us to support our central personal protective equipment (PPE) packing station in Parsons Green. The volunteer roles in this project include helping to pack PPE kits for our staff and delivering these packs to our services across 11 London boroughs and Hertfordshire.
Ben Masson (pictured) has been volunteering at the PPE packing station for more than five weeks. He said: “Being unemployed during the pandemic has been difficult and volunteering for the
NHS has been my way of supporting the community and our frontline workers that are working so hard in this crisis.
“The whole experience has been very positive, rewarding and has brought the community together in a way I have never experienced before.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity and the new friendships I have made along the way.”
A number of other volunteer roles are also providing crucial support to our frontline staff and patients. Examples of some of these roles include:
- supporting our district nursing service as volunteer drivers, enabling our nurses to carry out their home visits in a more timely manner. A volunteer driving service has also been set up for our podiatry service in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Parsons Green.
- volunteers in our befriending service are supporting discharged patients, some of whom live alone and find themselves socially isolated.
- providing counselling support to our staff as part of our employee health team.
- assisting clinical staff in the set-up of patient appointments via video conference calls, and contacting patients ahead of their appointments to support them with the use of this technology.
- translating leaflets into patients’ home languages.
We are incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers, whose efforts have made such a valued contribution to the NHS response to the pandemic.