Airedale Hospital is saying thank you to their team of volunteers this Volunteers’ Week.
There are over 300 volunteers who give up their time to help at the hospital, providing services such as running the shops, providing patient transport, offering a clothing service, assisting at mealtimes and more. At the start of the pandemic, many volunteers were not able to carry on their services due to limited numbers of people allowed on site. But many have continued volunteering throughout the past year.
Isabelle MacDougall from Skipton volunteers in one of the Friends of Airedale hospital shops serving food, drinks and essentials to patients and staff. When the hospital vaccination centre opened she started volunteering there as a guide.
She says, “When the vaccination centre opened the support I was able to provide as a guide ensured staff could concentrate on their jobs. They have been very appreciative and made us feel like team members. The vaccination centre is busy so the extra support from volunteers has helped with the smooth running of the service.”
David Ellis from Bingley is usually a volunteer driver for Friends of Airedale offering patient transport to appointments – but his role changed throughout the pandemic, and he began helping the hospital’s mobility services department delivering equipment. “I love driving and helping people so when I was asked if I wanted to help deliver and collect orthotics equipment to and from patients’ homes during the pandemic, I was delighted to take up the role.
“I help out one day a week and can get up to 20 drop-offs and pickups in one shift. People are very thankful for the service as it saves them having to come into the hospital to collect or drop off their equipment. Staff appreciate it too as it frees them up to carry out more appointments. I get a great sense of satisfaction and appreciation for helping the service.”
Brendan Brown, chief executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says, “We’re incredibly grateful for our volunteers and the hard work they put in. I’d like to personally thank our wonderful team of volunteers who provide services across many areas of the Trust that make a real difference to our patients.
“The past year has been unusual to say the least, and everyone has had to adapt. Our volunteers are no different and have altered their roles so they were able to continue to provide their services. I do not underestimate the impact this has had on our volunteer colleagues, so want to acknowledge their enduring support for us here at Airedale.”
Volunteers’ Week takes place between 1 and 7 June every year and is a time to recognise and thank volunteers. 2021 is the 37th national Volunteers’ Week.