Date of release: 8 October 2021
Three volunteers and one member of staff at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust have been nominated for national awards to recognise their fantastic contribution to volunteering in the health and care sector.
Eve Adams has been shortlisted for ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ category in the Helpforce Champions Awards 2021, Rikki Sweet and Phil Weaver have both been shortlisted for ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and Abigail Townsend has been shortlisted for ‘Volunteer Leader of the Year’, all in the same awards event.
The awards are the perfect opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contributions made by volunteers across the UK during the turbulent year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eve has recently been appointed as the Trust’s first Youth Volunteer Ambassador. Not only does she offer support to young volunteers, she provides support to the Youth Volunteering Programme Co-ordinator to embed the organisation’s new Youth Volunteer Programme.
She has supported in training sessions and encouraged volunteers to engage in the practical aspects of the training in preparation for starting shifts. Eve has also presented the Youth Volunteer Programme to local schools, colleges, the City Council and youth zones.
Rikki, who joined RWT to support with the pressures of COVID-19, has been shortlisted for his commitment to the Trust and has made a huge impression on staff and patients he has supported on Ward C19 at New Cross Hospital.
Always happy to support with other volunteer projects, Rikki is a valuable mentor to volunteers when starting out on their volunteer journey. The ward staff who work with Rikki recognise his commitment and see him as an integral part of the team.
Phil, who started volunteering before the pandemic, has been shortlisted due to the incredible commitment he has shown. As well as ward support, he runs virtual games groups and exercise classes for the patients / outpatients of the Neuro Rehab Ward at West Park Hospital. Fellow volunteers, staff and patients alike speak of his infectious personality and the way he lights up a room when he walks in.
Abby took up a paid position of leading volunteers in 2020 during the pandemic. As a previous NHS volunteer, Abby understands the experience well and relates it to her role. After supporting the Trust with deploying volunteers to clinical areas during the pandemic, Abby has progressed to co-ordinating a youth volunteer programme. She has developed a supportive service appropriate to younger volunteers and as part of this, a peer network and Young Volunteer Ambassador scheme.
Alison Dowling, Head of Patient Experience, said: “I am continually amazed and humbled by the commitment and passion of our volunteers. They offer their time so selflessly to support the staff and patients at RWT, ensuring they have the best experience possible and for that the Trust is very grateful.
“In addition we have a wonderful volunteer leadership team led by Eleanor Morris, Deputy Head of Patient Experience, and it’s great to see Abby being recognised in this way too.”
Mark Lever, Chief Executive of Helpforce, said: “2020 and 2021 have seen the NHS and all our healthcare services face one of the biggest challenges in their history, and we have seen volunteers step up in their thousands to help.
“This year, we have received a record number of entries for the Helpforce Champions Awards with so many brilliant examples of innovation, great practice, commitment, and real passion for patient care and support for staff across the health and care sector in the UK.
“We want to thank everyone for taking the time to recognise the volunteers and send our congratulations to those who have been shortlisted and we’d like to wish them the best of luck.”
The winners will be announced on Helpforce’s website and social media channels on Saturday, October 30th.