Date of release: 14 March 2023
Compassionate volunteers are being sought to help support a project focused on tackling loneliness, isolation, depression and anxiety in Wolverhampton’s vulnerable communities.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) Charity, in partnership with Wolverhampton Voluntary and Community Action (WVCA) has been awarded £220,000 from NHS Charities Together for the project which is called Holistic Opportunities Preventing Exclusion (HOPE).
And volunteers who are committed to making a difference are key to HOPE taking its next step.
Promoting HOPE, from left: Lindsey Goodall, Community and Events Fundraising Officer, The RWT Charity, Elinor Cole, Arts and Heritage Co-Ordinator, The RWT Charity, Alison Dowling, Head of Patient Experience and Public Involvement at RWT, Eleanor Morris, Deputy Head of Patient Experience (Strategy and Engagement) at RWT and Ian Darch, Chief Executive of WVCA
RWT will recruit, train, manage and support a full-time Link Volunteer Co-ordinator, a part-time Link Administration Officer, and up to 200 volunteers per year.
These will work alongside the city’s Social Prescribing Service, run by WVCA, to help tackle loneliness, isolation, depression and anxiety.
The Social Prescribing Service receives more than 3,000 referrals a year and following the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in mental health referrals. People are struggling with loneliness and isolation, bereavement and the effects of Long Covid.
HOPE will work alongside the service and can connect people to social groups, sporting activities, and groups focusing on areas of interest, such as gardening and arts and crafts.
Eleanor Morris, Deputy Head of Patient Experience at RWT, said: “This is such an important project and one we are so proud to be part of.
“Working in partnership with the voluntary sector in this way should see us collectively bring about meaningful change within our communities and we need volunteers who are just as passionate as we are about the opportunities this creates.
“We are looking for volunteers who are enthusiastic, caring and motivated by the desire to help others.”
Eleanor added that telephone or face-to-face support would be required as appropriate and tasks will include helping people to use technology to reduce isolation and boost their health and wellbeing as well as researching suitable groups or activities.
Potential volunteers may have had experience of volunteering in a community setting or experience in the care sector but this is not essential.
Amanda Winwood, Charity Development Manager at RWT, said: “We know the people of Wolverhampton are warm, welcoming and friendly with real empathy for others in their time of need. They are ideal candidates to become volunteers for this worthwhile project.
“So, if you think you have the qualities we need, please get in touch and help us to help so many others.”
Volunteers will be asked to commit to at least one duty per week for at least three months. For more details, or to express an interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.