Volunteers have been praised as ‘amazing and dedicated’ after new figures showed they are donating an estimated 1,200 hours of their time to an NHS trust every month.
Samantha Grey, who manages 102 volunteers at Humber NHS Foundation Trust, revealed their contribution to mark the United Nations’ International Volunteer Day, which celebrates the work of volunteers throughout the world.
“The Trust has some amazing, dedicated volunteers,” she said. “Since managing this service, I have not only seen the benefits that volunteering can have for our patients, but also for the volunteers themselves.
“Some of them have been able to have an amazing insight into the NHS, gaining really valuable skills and experience which have enabled them to gain employment.
“Others have found volunteering life-changing in terms of the confidence, self-esteem and social capital they have gained as a result of their positive contribution to our patients and their local community.”
The Trust’s volunteers work throughout the organisation in areas including inpatient units, gardening groups and administration. Approximately one third give their time to outreach groups.
Most are students or people planning a career change while others, such as those who have retired, volunteer as a hobby.
A smaller group of service users give their time to the Trust as part of their recovery. They work in areas including Humber Recovery College and the Positive Assets employment service.
Ms Grey said the majority want to gain work experience to help them find jobs in the NHS or for the Trust.
She said: “In the past year we have had several volunteers gaining employment at Humber in roles including occupational therapy assistant, health care assistant apprentice, cook, porter and trainee psychologist, as well as bank health care assistant and administrator.
“So it is positive for our workforce development.”