Volunteers who help patients and staff at hospitals in Ceredigion have been thanked.
As part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations of National Volunteers Week, volunteers from the university health board’s Volunteering for Health project and from League of Friends attended a special event hosted by Vice-Chair Sian-Marie James.
The League of Friends of Bronglais Hospital and Community and the League of Friends of Tregaron Hospital received a Chairman’s certificate of commendation for the invaluable support of their fundraising activities over a number of years which has helped to improve patient services and experiences.
Cardigan Hospital and Community League of Friends will also receive the Certificate of Commendation but were unable to attend the presentation.
The Chairman of Hywel Dda University Health Board, usually awards commendations to staff who work above and beyond their call of duty to help to improve services. This is the first time that anyone other than a staff member has received a Certificate of Commendation from the Chairman.
Mr Martin said: ‘I am delighted to be able to recognise the work of our unsung heroes and volunteers including the League of Friends across Ceredigion.
“The League of Friends are receiving my own Chairman’s certificates of Commendation in recognition of their dedication, hard work and amazing fundraising over many, many years.
“The £10,000s they have raised has improved the patient experience and outcomes in our hospitals and quite frankly we couldn’t have delivered our services without their help and support.”
Volunteering for Health volunteers across the three counties in the last year have carried out over 14,000 hours of volunteering resulting in 56,000 patient contacts.
They carry out a variety of roles in acute and community hospitals including befriending, supporting breast feeding mums, meeting and greeting visitors and supporting pharmacy and staff to take prescription drugs to wards for patients.
Barbara was a patient at Bronglais Hospital who has recently benefited from the service and she attended the event to personally thank the volunteers.
She said: “Don’t ever underestimate the impact the volunteers have on patients, just a smile or picking something up for the patient makes a difference.
“I had lost faith with humanity but my experience of the volunteers helped restore a lot of my faith in humanity.”
David Fretwell, head of volunteering services, said: “Our volunteers are wonderful and can really make a difference to patients when they come into hospital, just taking time to sit with a patient and have a friendly chat can be so rewarding for both patient and volunteers.”
Mr Martin added: “The event was an opportunity for me to say a thank you, although thank you doesn’t seem enough because they have made such a difference and touched so many people’s lives, helping and supporting their recovery and generally improving their health and wellbeing.”
For more information on Volunteering for Health go to www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/volunteering for more information on fundraising go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk