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Celebrating our volunteers: Volunteers’ Week

Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you. These last few years have highlighted the vital role of our volunteers who give hundreds of hours of their time every week supporting staff, patients and their families.

The Trust has 150 registered volunteers who bring skills, knowledge and a desire to make a difference to our services and the lives of the people we care for.

We’d like to encourage you to take the time to recognise volunteers that helped during the last 12 months and to thank those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the pandemic.

Joanna Rapson, Volunteering and Befriending Lead said “The coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by volunteers.

“Here in the Trust, our volunteers helped with medication and PPE distribution and we even started up a telephone befriending scheme for our older patients in just a weeks. Many were even able to continue with their roles virtually. Who would have thought we’d be chatting to our volunteer visitor match or attending a meeting all from our dining room tables! Now in summer 2022, our volunteers are slowly and carefully returning and restarting into face-to-face roles.

“We want to celebrate the difference that our volunteers have made to us and thank them all for their time and dedication during this year’s Volunteers’ Week. We look forward to celebrating with them at a dedicated event on 7 June at our new Involvement, Experience and Volunteering Hub at Duncan Macmillan House in Nottingham.

One of our volunteers, Richard Byrt, shared his experience of working as a volunteer during the Covid pandemic.

“Following retirement from my work at Arnold Lodge in 2011, I have been very pleased to have opportunities to maintain contact with a few service users as a volunteer befriender.  Over the period of Covid lockdown, I was able to maintain contact through Skype.  I am very grateful, both to the people I have visited, and to staff for enabling online, as well as face-to-face, visits at Arnold Lodge.  I am also grateful for the support I have received in my befriending role.  

I have learnt the importance of consistency in continuing regular phone calls and visits, and in being unobtrusively supportive, with active listening and interest, especially when individuals are experiencing particular difficulties.

With staff agreement, and at his request, I have maintained contact with a former Arnold Lodge service user (through phone, letters and occasional visits) after he moved to services some distance from Leicester.  

Service users and staff are the best judges of whether my visits are beneficial or not.  I try to act on feedback from service users (for example, reporting any concerns to staff), and to reflect on whether I can improve visits: for example, being aware if tiredness, towards the end of a working day, may affect my ability to listen.   

It is good to be part of the volunteer befriending team at Arnold Lodge.  Thank you to service users and to everyone concerned.”

To find out more about our volunteering services visit:



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