Tangerine army of volunteers returns to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust welcomed back their dedicated cohort of volunteers this week, perfectly timed to coincide with National Volunteers Week.

The 400-strong group are returning to duty in phases due to ongoing Covid restrictions, however the so-called ‘tangerine army’ are already being welcomed back by grateful patients and staff, with their presence missed over the last 15 months.

“The volunteers are really well loved and well-liked within the Trust,” said Voluntary Services Team Leader, Catherine Henshaw. “We have got 29 different roles which cover pretty much everything from giving out directions, ward helpers, wheel-chair distribution, blood runners, we have got the volunteer shop open. They stand out very well in their bright orange uniforms, so I think everyone has missed them. The uniforms are gorgeous, our very own tangerine army.

“The age range is 16 through to 93 so it is a vast spectrum of people. We will take on anyone of any age, from any walk of life, they can come and join us.”

The Trust has agreed that the Navigators, Macmillan Tea Bar, Wheelchair Distributors, non-patient facing Chaplaincy, Blood Runners and Blue Skies Shop Volunteers will be the first to return, with all volunteers welcomed back with their own personal video of thanks from the Trust’s executive team.

“I’m thrilled to see them back, they really have been missed. Just walking in, they are the first people you see and it makes a big difference having them back,” said Trish Trench, Non-Medical Deployment Manager.

“They are important to the Trust, they are the face of the Trust and having these guys back it is like everything is starting to get back to normal. The volunteers I have spoken to are over the moon to be back, they have been waiting on tenterhooks for the call to come back in.”

All volunteers on duty were also given the VIP treatment to celebrate National Volunteers Week, with a special grab-and-go afternoon tea as an appreciation for the work they do.

For any volunteering enquires please contact the team on bfwh.volunteers@nhs.net

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