We held a special coffee morning to mark the end of Volunteers’ Week and thank our dedicated volunteers for their hard work.
As well as the chance to catch up with their fellow volunteers over coffee and cake, special pins were presented to some in recognition of long service, over five and ten years. This Volunteers’ Week, we introduced pins for volunteers who have completed one year in its hospitals for the first time.
Among those receiving awards were married couple Andrew and Belinda Durkin, who have volunteered together with us for five years.
The long-service awards were presented by our acting Chief Executive, Jeff Buggle, and Chief Nurse Kathryn Halford.
Mr Buggle said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to present these awards to our dedicated volunteers and take the opportunity to thank them for everything that they do.
“Our volunteers make a real difference to the care we give to our patients and we are so very grateful. It’s fantastic that since last year’s national Volunteers’ Week, we’ve seen a real rise in the number of volunteers at our hospitals.”
We have around 400 volunteers who give hundreds of hours of their own time each week in a range of roles; assisting our patients to eat their meals, helping people to find their way, reading to young patients on the children’s wards or helping with our paperwork.
Volunteers range in age, from students doing some extra-curricular work to our eldest volunteer Grace, who is in her 90s, and chose how much time they give each week. If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, email our volunteering team, or visit the volunteering page.
Pictured above are Andrew and Belinda Durkin receiving their awards from Jeff Buggle and Kathryn Halford.
A volunteers’ story
Dedicated volunteer Dora Parajos (pictured), 24, works a full-time waitressing job while spending her days off supporting Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.
She studied healthcare management in her home country of Hungary and was due to complete a masters degree. However, she decided to put her studies on hold after her mother died.
She’s currently waitressing in a restaurant near her home in Brentwood, while working at the Trust as a clerical volunteer two days a week, joining in December last year.
She said: “It’s really exciting and I’m learning more and more. I’ve always been interested in hospitals, I cannot explain it but I feel good when I go into them. I feel motivated and passionate about it and in the future I can see myself working in a hospital.
“Volunteering is a great opportunity to try out a different environment, and it’s really important to me that I’m helping, and I’m useful.”