Trust wins second grant for new national volunteering programme

11th Feb 2019

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust (SWBH) is celebrating after securing a £75,000 windfall to expand and share its’ volunteering schemes with other NHS organisations across the country.
The funding will go towards developing volunteering roles which support patients in staying mobile – maintaining their independence whilst they are cared for at our organisation.
The activity support and mobility scheme at SWBH is one of 10 projects singled out by Helpforce, the organisation working with hospitals to enhance the benefits of volunteering across the NHS. SWBH was selected following a competitive process which received 115 applications from 90 trusts.
It will be part of the new Volunteering Innovators Programme devised by Helpforce, which will refine and share projects to help other trusts in the UK adopt effective services.
Jonathan Maddison, Volunteer Project Manager at SWBH, said: “We are delighted to be chosen and be part of this new programme.
“The activity support and mobility volunteer role will be hand in hand with the Trust’s physiotherapists, helping to improve outcomes for our patients.
“They will encourage patients who are able, to get out of bed, wash themselves, get dressed into their day clothes, and walk and exercise, so they maintain as much of their normal routine as possible whilst in hospital. This will help to improve their recovery and enable patients to keep the same level of independence as when they arrived in hospital.
“Volunteers in these roles will receive additional training in this role. This particular role is part of a wider Volunteer Service that operates at the Trust.”
Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Founder and Chair of Helpforce, said:  “We are excited about working with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust as part of our new Volunteering Innovators Programme, which will give us the opportunity to scale and share the most inspiring and effective volunteering initiatives.”
Paddy Hanrahan, Managing Director of Helpforce, added:  “We received a huge number of applications from trusts wanting to become part of our new programme, which is testament to the enthusiasm for the development of effective volunteer roles. Working closely with leading trusts, voluntary sector partners and NHS England, we can create a future where safe and reliable volunteering in the NHS is part of our everyday lives, helping patients and our brilliant frontline staff to get the very best from the health service.”
The Volunteering Innovators Programme launches alongside the publication of new Helpforce findings showing the positive impact that volunteers can make for patients and staff, following an evaluation of the organisation’s work with five trusts that have been testing volunteer roles since 2017. The findings include showing how volunteers can free up time for NHS staff to focus on their core roles, support vulnerable patients at mealtimes, and how they can assist with the patient discharge process.

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