Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new initiative calling for local volunteers to work in partnership with the Trust to develop innovative and creative volunteering roles that will benefit service users and carers.  Volunteers will be given the opportunity to bring their knowledge, skills and experience to the volunteering role. They will enhance the service provision, not duplicate or replace paid staff roles.

Over 3 million volunteers already contribute to the provision of Health and Social Care across England.  The Trust recognises that the benefits people can make to enhancing  patient care and aims to develop an organisation wide culture that supports volunteering.

The Trust has devised a new five year Volunteering Strategy that aims to:

Implement safe, effective and efficient processes for recruiting and supporting volunteers

Enhance service provision and patient experience through volunteers

Develop a team of volunteers to support the services across the Trust

Catherine Pitts, Volunteering Lead

Catherine Pitts, Volunteering Lead said: “The NHS would not function without volunteers.  We already have some amazing volunteers, making a massive difference to Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven and we would like to build on this.

Some of our volunteers help staff run group activities for patients at Lynfield Mount Hospital. We also have many volunteers running groups out in the community for people with long term health conditions.  All our volunteers increase the health and well-being of service users and carers.”

Maureen Myers has been volunteering as a Community Health Champions for the Trust for six years through the Champions Show the Way programme.

Despite having health conditions of her own, caring Maureen is extremely committed to helping others. Maureen leads a walking group in Shipley, helping people regain fitness and reduce social isolation.  The group is so highly regarded that some members travel across Bradford to access it.  Maureen also leads a singing group and supports a music group.  Maureen’s singing group has brought together two people who recently married. At the couple’s request, she even organised the singing group to play at the wedding.

Maureen is acknowledged by the people she supports as a ‘fantastic woman with a heart of gold’.

“I tell people, we are each other’s responsibility, we’re not just here for ourselves. I enjoy volunteering; I don’t see it as volunteering, just a big family.” Maureen said.

Champions show the way Group

In 2015 Maureen won a ‘You’re A Star Awards at the Trusts annual staff awards ceremony. The award recognised Maureen’s valuable contribution and commitment to helping others in the community.  The Trust is committed to ensuring volunteers are thanked and their contributions celebrated.

If you feel inspired and want to find out more about how you could make a difference and become a volunteer email: volunteer@bdct.nhs.uk, Tel: 01274 322662 or visit: http://www.bdct.nhs.uk/voluteering

The new Volunteering Strategy will be unveiled at the next Trust Board Meeting on Thursday 26 November, Silsden Town Hall, Kirkgate, BD20 0AJ 12:30 – 2pm following the Public Board- 10.00 am -12.30 pm.   If you have any questions you would like to put to the Board please submitted in advance via Committee Support Officer 01274 228293.