Volunteers’ Week

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.

Further information

For further information on the work of the People and Communities Board, Active Communities Programme or to join the Active Communities Alliance please contact sara.bordoley@nhs.net

Volunteers’ Week blogs

Volunteering is a work of heart! – Sally Knights

In the latest of our series of blogs to mark Volunteers Week 2016, the Voluntary Services Manager for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals details the huge role being played by a small army of people giving up their time for free: The year I turned 16, while deciding whether to go to college or find […]

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Chief Nursing Officer pays tribute to nation’s health volunteers

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 […]

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Parade in honour of Ebola volunteers

Tributes were today paid to NHS volunteers who took part in the fight against the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. The accolades came as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces (APPG(AF) arranged a ‘Welcome Home’ march into Parliament. The parade was in recognition of the significant contribution of the NHS and Public […]

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Saying ‘thank you’ to millions of unsung heroic volunteers

Today we publish the last two blogs in a series we have been running all week dedicated to people who give up their time free as health and care volunteers. The blogs have marked Volunteers’ Week celebrations in recognition of the invaluable contributions of people up and down the country. The Week acknowledges and says […]

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Celebrating unsung heroes during Volunteers’ Week

All this week we are running a series of blogs from dedicated people who give up their time free as health and care volunteers. The blogs mark the Volunteers’ Week celebrations in recognition of the invaluable contributions of people up and down the country. The week acknowledges and says “Thank you” to the millions of […]

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Unsung heroes have their say during Volunteers’ Week

All this week we are running a series of blogs from dedicated people who give up their time free as health and care volunteers. The blogs mark the Volunteers’ Week celebrations in recognition of the invaluable contributions of people up and down the country. The week acknowledges and says “Thank you” to the millions of […]

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Celebrating the work of volunteers

The UK is celebrating Volunteers’ Week in recognition of the invaluable contributions of people who offer up their time. The week acknowledges and says “Thank you” to the millions of people who give freely of their time, skills and expertise to volunteer in our health and care services, as well their own communities, to help […]

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Tributes paid to nation’s unsung health and care service volunteers

The UK celebrates Volunteers’ Week from today until 7 June in recognition of the invaluable contributions of people across all sectors who offer up their time. The week acknowledges and says “Thank you” to the millions of people who give freely of their time, skills and expertise to volunteer in our health and care services, […]

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Volunteer groups to get £2m to support vulnerable patients this winter

NHS England has today announced up to eight voluntary sector organisations will share £2m to provide extra help over the busy winter months. The groups, including Age UK, British Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service, will run local projects that target those people most at risk of admission to hospital and who need extra support […]

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