16th August 2013 – Thank you to Airedale Hospital’s army of volunteers
A special event has been planned to say thank you to more than 350 people who volunteer at Airedale Hospital.
It will be held on Tuesday 20 August, between 12 noon and 3pm, in a marquee on the site. There will be a buffet lunch and entertainment provided.
Andrew Catto, executive medical director for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, will officially thank the volunteers for all their hard work and commitment they show the hospital.
He said: “More people than ever before came forward to work as volunteers in Airedale Hospital last year. They have dedicated an enormous number of hours of their free time to support the hospital. We can never thank them enough for the work they do for us”
Most of the volunteers belong to either Friends of Airedale or Airedale New Venture, two charities that support the hospital which run shops in the hospital.
Other volunteers help with feeding patients and support the Real Time Patient survey, which involves patients being asked for their views about their care before they leave the wards.
Mrs Shirley Banks, aged 75, has been volunteering for Airedale Hospital for the past eight years. She started out supporting the library services and helped to get the patient survey off the ground four years ago.
She said: “I’ve seen the patient survey develop and lots of improvements made as a results of it, based on patients comments. Staff take the results very seriously and changes can be made quickly without any need for committee discussions.”
The mother-of-three, who has seven grandchildren and one great grandchild, has been volunteering for most of her life, initially for the scouts and guides, becoming assistant county commissioner for the beaver scouts. She started as a volunteer for Airedale after her husband George died, as there was a big gap in her life and she moved to be closer to her daughter in Bradley.
She said: “it gives me something to get up for in a morning. I’ve met so many ordinary people with amazing stories to tell about the things they have done.”
Other services provided by the volunteers include; – running car boot sales to boost hospital funds; a library service, patient transport, providing flowers for wards and the chapel, a Saturday social event, befriending service, guides to direct people around the hospital, the hospital’s radio station – Radio Airedale, ward trolley service, and managing bookings for the commercial stalls in the outpatients department.
Mrs Eileen Proud, chair of Friends of Airedale, said: “We were offered the marquee at the hospital site as it wasn’t needed until the public open day. What better way to use it than to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers – I’m really looking forward to the event.”
The hospital’s two charities and voluntary services will be having a stall at the public open day on Thursday 22 August to let visitors know more about their work.
Anyone who has gifts they don’t want, which could be donated to a tombola being held on the day to raise money for the charities can drop them off at either shop based on the site of the hospital.
For more information about volunteering contact Gurmit Jauhal, voluntary services manager at Airedale Hospital on 01535 295316 or email: Gurmit.Jauhal@anhst.nhs.uk