This week (1-7 June) is Volunteers Week and we would like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers who help across the Trust, helping deliver the very best care to our patients. Our volunteers form an extremely important part of our ELHT Family so this week we would like to encourage wards and departments to take a moment to thank the volunteers who go above and beyond, making a difference for our patients.

During this week we are sharing the stories of our amazing volunteers. We are also enccouraging people to get involved by sharing their own messages of thanks via our Facebook Page ELHT.NHS. 

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David Thomas

Why am I volunteer is a question easily answered. My name is David Thomas and I feel very lucky to be a volunteer in the education centre at Burnley General Teaching Hospital. The staff there are not only my colleagues but some of my finest friends. It is so nice to work with such dedicated people.

Since working there I have won an ELHT STAR award for 'Volunteer of the Year' and also attended a Buckingham Palace garden party for services to charity. Being a volunteer is giving back something after all the superb treatment I got when I suffered from cancer, peritonitis and sepsis - a debt I could never repay.

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Janet Smith and Shirley Grimshaw

Janet: I have been a volunteer for ELHT for about four years now. I started volunteering to give something back and it is the best thing I have ever done.

I volunteer at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, at Area 1 Reception from 9am to 4pm one day a week.

We have patients arriving to go to different parts of the hospital and I direct them to where they should be. Some patients are nervous, so I try to put them at ease, with some patients English is not their first language, but we usually manage to find out where they should be.

I enjoy volunteering at the hospital and have made friends. After lockdown with the Covid pandemic, the Staff and Nurses were so glad to see us back, it makes it all worthwhile.

Shirley: I have volunteered for 15 years. I started after I retired from work to give something back for all the good work the hospital do, I volunteer on the reception at Area 1 showing people where to go and making sure they are masked up and directing them to their appointments.

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Ilona Newton

I have been volunteering since October 2019 after finishing working as a medical secretary.

I started volunteering as I like talking to people and finding out about them and hopefully making their day happier. I was born with a disability and have over the years been an in-patient and out-patient in hospital and I appreciate what they are going through.

I volunteer at Clitheroe Community Hospital on the ward as a patient support volunteer which involves engaging with patients which I enjoy as I like interacting with people. I also volunteer in the Out-Patient Department which involves asking patients to sanitise their hands and put a face mask on arrival at the hospital and also informing patients where they should go to prior to their appointment.

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Steve Laming

I began volunteering for the NHS not long after retiring from working as a Fresh Foods Manager for Asda. I was in a very privileged position in life and wanted to give something back. My motivation wasn't totally altruistic, a hunger for new experiences and a desire to work with different people and learn new skills, appealed to me. The Daily Mail newspaper was running a recruitment campaign for NHS Volunteers at the time, which caught my attention and interest. I applied immediately.

After an interview, which was soon followed by an Induction Class, I began working as an NHS Volunteer. My first role was working as an Usher in the Critical Care ward. This did not last too long due to the Covid Pandemic. I understood that the hospital needed to restrict access but was happy when I was called, a few weeks later, to cover the Patient Drop-Off. This was a service devised to help patients receive clean clothes, toiletries, newspapers, books, etc. from their friends and relatives, who could no longer visit them. I also worked in the Vaccination Hub at Burnley Hospital, one morning a week, assisting staff and making tea and coffee.

More recently, I have been working in Ward C6, which, for me, has been the most rewarding position so far. I get to talk to patients, make drinks for them and make out menu sheets for their meals. I also carry out a variety of tasks to help with the general running of the ward. This role gives me a genuine feeling that in a small way, I've managed to help some people.

I have really enjoyed volunteering over the last two years. I get great satisfaction if I can make someone a cuppa, assist them in choosing their choices of food, help to feed them or even give just a few moments of chirpy conversation. I truly believe these little things are important and worth my time.

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Reception Team - Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

We have volunteered at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital for a combined total of 30 yrs doing a variety of duties , mainly reception work and work with The Mcmillan team. We all agree that our time here has been worthwhile in that it has given us pleasure and has been a focus in our lives for many years.

In our work we meet many interesting and amazing people and we get pleasure in helping not only staff but also patients and visitors who hopefully we make a difference to. Over the years we have made many good friends in our volunteering work. Working together, as a team, we support each other and enjoy social time together too. Hopefully the giving of our time enhances the experiences of visitors to the Trust as it certainly gives pleasure to us volunteers too.

We are all looking forward to volunteering for many more years to come.

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Trish Knight

I have volunteered for 17 years, beginning in February 2005. I started volunteering at this time as I was assisting the Occupational Health Department (at Burnley General) with the First Aid Training.

My reason for volunteering at the Trust was because I had completed my S.R.N. training at Burnley General in 1978. This was followed by completion of my S.C.M. training at Edith Watson Maternity Unit, at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, and I worked at the Hospital until my retirement in February 2004. Having spent most of my working life at BGTH, I wanted to continue working in the place that meant so much to me.

In July 2008 I began working as an Infant Feeding Volunteer, on the Antenatal Clinic at Lancashire Women's and Newborn Centre and in April 2011, I moved onto Ward 12, the Antenatal Ward and still continue to this present time. In this role I talk to the ladies on the ward individually regarding Infant Feeding.

In June 2016 I also began working on Ward 15, Orthopaedics at Burnley General Hospital as a General Volunteer helping with patients beverages, and continue to do so.

I thoroughly enjoy volunteering, and aim to continue for as long as I can

Are you interested in joining our amazing ELHT Family as a volunteer? Click here for more information.