Nottinghamshire Healthcare covers a large geographical area – with over 100 sites and patients in every type of setting – community, acute, low, medium and high secure. Staff provide the core services for these clients but there is one group of individuals who can make an enormous difference to people’s experience of our services. That group is of course, our volunteers.
The Trust currently has over 300 volunteers in place and is continually striving to recruit more people. In each individual situation the volunteer’s role is different - but everywhere the aim is the same: to complement and enhance the services provided by specialist staff and to improve quality of life for our service users.
The ways in which they do this are many and various…
Some volunteers bring specialist skills to occupational therapy or day centre groups. For instance, there are volunteers supporting clients in an IT workshop; others volunteer sharing their skills and expertise in music or the arts
Some visit patients or clients on the wards or in residential units - chatting with them, playing games and bringing in a “breath of fresh air” - especially to those without regular visitors
Volunteers with the Community Befriending Scheme visit isolated people in their homes, or meet them to go shopping, to see a film, an exhibition or similar
A team of volunteers staff the tea bar at Millbrook Mental Health Unit.
Long-term one to one support in a high secure setting at Rampton Hospital. Patients at the Hospital can feel isolated from family and friends, or may have no visitors at all. The Rampton Hospital volunteers visit these patients on a regular basis, offering a friendly face and the chance to chat with someone from outside the Hospital setting
Just as their roles vary, so do the volunteers…
Their ages range from 21 to 80+ years with the majority in their 20s and 30s
Some are students in further or higher education, looking to make a career in mental health or learning disabilities, seeking to gain insight into the working environment – many who are taking a year out, do voluntary work to give them ‘hands-on’ experience
Some are in full-time, paid employment, others are unemployed or retired
Some see volunteering as a stepping stone into paid employment; for some it is an end in itself
A minority are service users, who find volunteering assists their rehabilitation
Some volunteers have been helping the Trust for many, many years; others are only with us for a relatively short time before moving on. The length of service is not as crucial as their unique and additional contribution to the service the Trust provides.
The fact that volunteers choose to give their time for no payment can be an enormous psychological boost to patients and clients whose self-esteem is low. Others appreciate the fact that volunteers can sit and chat, for instance, without any other calls on their time.
Involving volunteers also enables the Trust to be more integrated into the wider community, helping to break down the barriers and challenge myths and stereotypes.
All in all, cause for celebration!
If you are interested in volunteering at Rampton Hospital then please contact Val Strawson, Volunteer Manager, on 01777 247 653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to volunteer within other areas of the Trust, please contact:-
Voluntary & Befriending Services
Duncan Macmillan House
Tel: 0800 052 1415
Also see below for our Registration form and Information leaflets around Volunteering and Befriending for the Trust
If you're interested in becoming a Volunteer please print these documents and fill them in and send them to the above address,