Catherine Jowitt, Head of Charity and Volunteering at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Trust’s Volunteer to Career Programme were both winners at the prestigious Helpforce Champions Awards 2023.

The awards provide national recognition of the fantastic contribution to volunteering in the health and care sector. They are also a chance to shine a light on those who give their time to help health and care organisations, to support people, staff and their families and carers.

Catherine scooped the award for  ‘Volunteer Lead of the Year’ and the Trust’s Volunteer to Career Programme won ‘Best Volunteer to Career Programme’.

Catherine Jowitt, Volunteer Lead of the Year said: “It is an amazing achievement to have won Volunteer Lead of the Year, it’s a fantastic way of celebrating the growth of volunteering in the Trust. I’ve had the pleasure of leading the growth of volunteering in the Trust to over 200 volunteers supporting patients and staff. Seeing people embrace volunteering to give back to the NHS, in their own recovery or supporting their career aspirations is an absolute pleasure.”

The awards celebrate the invaluable contributions made by volunteers across the UK and the impact they make on the health and wellbeing of patients, their carers and health and care staff.

Joanne Smith, Clinical Lead Volunteer to Career, said: “I am really pleased that our programme won. It is a lovely way to celebrate success, recognise and thank all our team, clinical staff and volunteers involved. Volunteer to Career is sure to grow from strength to strength and it feels like there is so much more to come.

“I have had the pleasure of working with the most committed staff and dedicated volunteers who are part of our future workforce, this has genuinely been the highlight of my 25-year career in the NHS.”

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, Helpforce Chairperson and founder said: “Many congratulations to Catherine Jowitt and the Volunteer to Career Programme at the Care Trust on winning their award. They have demonstrated a great commitment and real passion for patient care and supporting staff.

“The Helpforce Champions Awards shine an inspiring light on brilliant examples of this valuable resource. Our thanks go to everyone who has participated in the 2023 Helpforce Champion Awards to share the stories of their inspiring volunteers and volunteering teams.”

Winners were announced at the ceremony at the Royal Air Force Club on 13 October. A full list of winners and runners up can be found on