A group of ‘Orange Army’ volunteers have described their pride in winning a coveted Trust award.
The 11-strong A&E volunteer team at Blackpool Victoria Hospital won the Volunteer of the Year award, given out as part of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Celebrating Success Awards, held virtually earlier this month.
Part of a wider volunteering team at the Trust, the A&E volunteers assist Emergency Department staff by chatting to patients, providing them with drinks and food and helping with their needs where possible.
Enfys Johnson, Emergency Department Ward Clerk said: “The A&E Volunteers are a great team. They set a shining example to us all, giving of their valuable free time and expertise to work alongside the staff on the department.
“The Volunteers often arrive for their shift, to face a department which can sometimes be overwhelming, but they ‘set to’ with enthusiasm and remain positive throughout.
“Their dedication and loyalty is unsurpassed and they truly deserve this award in recognition of the hard work, kindness and for their time, given generously, without question or reward. Thank you to all of them.”
David Knight, a former civil servant, has been volunteering at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for 13 years. He said: “Working in the Emergency Department is the hub of the hospital where many patients arrive first.
“Providing patients with biscuits and conversation is very rewarding. You feel like to have given a bit of yourself to someone.”
Linda Howarth volunteers in both A&E and Blackpool Victoria’s Cardiac Centre. She said: “We all love the fact that we are thanked and appreciated in the department and we feel we are all like one big family.
“Being in the Emergency Department can be challenging at times, but it is also so rewarding.”
Volunteer Doreen Schofield added: “A lot of us work shifts in pairs and so have created a system between us to ensure all the patients are catered to. There is good camaraderie within the team and the A&E staff always make sure we are thanked at the end of every shift.”
There were also two runners up in the category. Phil Robinson volunteers in A&E, the Cardiac Centre and for Trust charity Blue Skies Hospitals Fund. He was nominated for making massive difference to the charity and helping at many fundraising events to raise money to enhance patient care and awareness of the work the charity does to support the Trust.
Catherine Talbot, who was nominated because she travels for 1 hour and 30 minutes on the bus to Blackpool to help serve tea, coffee and sandwiches in the Discharge Lounge and is a great help to the busy department.
You can watch Volunteer team winning their award and the whole Celebrating Success Awards 2022 ceremony here: https://youtu.be/pciYAZnj9JY