HEALTHCARE volunteers in Warwickshire have been recognised for their commitment to helping others.
Two members of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) have been acknowledged in the Helpforce Champion Awards which celebrate the contributions made by volunteers across the UK.
Katherine Healey, volunteer at Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital, and Alison Cooke, lead Nurse for the Volunteer Service for the Community Children’s Nursing Team, both made the top three for their categories.
Katherine is not only finishing her Neuroscience Masters but she is also registered blind and works as a carer in the community. Her role supports the rehabilitation patients on a one-to-one basis – an emotionally intense activity.
Katherine’s nomination described her as reliable and her dedication to getting to know individuals, adding ‘patients ‘love her’.
She said: “I started volunteering to help people and give something back to the community. I come in every time just to be there for the patients, to listen and also be a companion. Even if they forget they are a patient for 15 minutes whilst chatting to me over a board game or going to the therapy garden, that is still a difference and you can see it on the patient’s faces.
“The staff are wonderful to work with and I am grateful to have learnt so much from them. It has given me great confidence and helped me grow with experience relevant for my career.”
Alison Cooke was a finalist in the category ‘Outstanding Staff Champion for Volunteers’.
Her nomination said she had ‘enthusiastically transformed the service which has gone from strength to strength’ and she had ‘driven forward a more inclusive and far-reaching health and social care service’, benefiting complex needs children and those caring for them.
During the last year, the trust had over 100 dedicated volunteers, who contributed 13,500 hours.
Volunteer Services lead Fran Docherty said: “We are extremely grateful to all our volunteers who dedicate their time to help support our trust to continue to deliver outstanding care to the people of Warwickshire. The Helpforce Champions Awards are the perfect opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contributions made by volunteers and staff and hope these stories also inspire you to make a difference.”
Visit www.swft.nhs.uk/join-us/volunteer for information on volunteering.