It’s Volunteers’ Week – let’s thank the millions of volunteers involved in health and care.
We celebrated Volunteers’ Week between 1 and 12 June 2016. We wanted to thank the three million volunteers who give their time freely to support health, welfare and disability organisations and the many more who informally help in their communities. Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, gave her thanks and thoughts here. We featured blogs by different volunteers to find about more about what they do and the positive difference they make to others.
Volunteers of all ages, work across a range of health and care settings, with voluntary and community sector organisations, and in the community. They are involved in a wide range of different roles from mealtime assistants to singing on wards; from befriending, providing peer to peer support to being a governor or lay member; and from emergency responders to providing those absolutely vital cups of tea, having time for a chat or giving that extra bit of TLC.
Volunteers make a huge difference, adding value to services, helping people recover from ill health sooner, helping people to care for themselves and supporting better experience of care – and for that we thank them. We also know that for many volunteers giving up their time to support others helps their own health and wellbeing, enables them to feel part of their community, and gain new skills.
This is why volunteering is a key element of the Five Year Forward View and is critical in delivering more people and community focused care; and why the principle ‘volunteering and social action as key enablers’ must be embedded into New Models of Care and Sustainability and Transformation Plans. Volunteering Matters and Royal Voluntary Service, along with other partners and NHS England’s Active Communities Programme are leading work for the People and Communities Board to ensure volunteering and social action plays a key role in transformation and is embedded across the health and care system. It’s an exciting time for volunteering!
Want to volunteer?
There are many ways you can get involved in health and care at a national or local level, from shaping health services, volunteering in NHS or other care providers or by supporting your local community.
You can also sign up to In Touch NHS England’s twice monthly e newsletter which includes opportunities to get involved.
For further information on the work of the People and Communities Board, Active Communities Programme or to join the Active Communities Alliance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last of our series of blogs to mark Volunteers Week 2016, two people tell how their voluntary work with the Black Health Agency Skyline organisation has transformed their own lives: The BHA Leeds Skyline project delivers HIV support and prevention work within African communities in the city. It provides a safe space for […]
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Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, today praised the three million volunteers nationwide who give their time freely to support health, welfare and disability organisations. Marking the start of Volunteers Week 2016, Professor Cummings said she wanted to take the opportunity to thank the often “under-appreciated” volunteers across the country who support friends […]
In the first of a series of blogs to mark Volunteers Week 2016, the chair and co-founder of a healthcare charity gives a moving example of how three million volunteers nationwide, who give their time freely to support healthy, welfare and disability organisations, are making a real difference: The lady was very agitated. In the […]