Picnic in the park event launches volunteer’s week at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Volunteers are part of everyday life at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, giving their time to help and support patients, visitors, and staff in many ways.
For 12 years the Trust’s chief executives have hosted a special thank you event to coincide with the national Volunteers Week event, but due to COVID and restrictions the event was moved from the restaurant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to Stanley Park.
Following the success of the event last year Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child, accompanied by executive colleagues, once again hosted a picnic in the park at the famous band stand for 2023’s celebrations.
This year the event coincides with celebrations marking the 75th year of the NHS and is an opportunity to reflect on the work that has been done by volunteers for so many decades, making a difference to patients and colleagues alike.
The Trust has more than 265 active volunteers at Blackpool Victoria and Clifton hospitals, each giving at least three hours of their time a week. Volunteer Manager, Catherine Henshaw said the event is an opportunity to celebrate, “Not only is this event about recognising our current volunteers and saying thank you but it also raises the awareness of volunteering and the many reasons people choose to volunteer for us.”
Vera volunteers in both the Blue Skies shop and handing out the breakfast in the Emergency Department. When she first started volunteering a few years ago it was in loving memory of her mum who always appreciated the those who gave their time to give out the teas to patients. Vera continues to volunteer now for her own physical and mental wellbeing, “As a retired nurse I’ve always wanted to continue to help people, and this is a great way to do that whilst staying fit. I love that I can support the charity and help patients”
Also at the event were duo Elaine and Pat who both met as volunteers 12 years ago and have been friends ever since. “We make the effort now before our shift to meet in the restaurant and have an hour to catch up, you’d never think we would be friends, but we just are now it is lovely.” Both have worked a number of volunteer roles but enjoy the shifts they work together the most.
Speaking about the thank you event, Trish Armstrong-Child said: “This genuinely is one of the highlights in my annual calendar, I am always really humbled when I speak to our volunteers at this event how selfless and dedicated they are to making a difference.
“During my 30-year career at the NHS there has not been a role I have worked in that wasn’t supported and touched by volunteers. This event is my small way of saying thank you for everything they do.”
Volunteers Week is held every year as a celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities.
There are currently several vacancies open on our website for specific volunteer roles, including a listener volunteer and trolley volunteer. Alternatively, if you would like to have an informal conversation with our team please call 01253 957994 or email email@example.com
Read more about the Trust’s NHS75 celebrations on a special webpage here.