Volunteers from across Fife gathered at the Victoria Hospital today (Tuesday 6 June) to celebrate those that give up their time to help others.
A number of local volunteers from across the organisation joined NHS Fife Chair, Tricia Marwick, for a lunch and certificate presentation to recognise the impact volunteers make and to mark Volunteer’s Week 2017.
The event coincided with a landmark afternoon for NHS Fife’s acute services division when it was revealed that, for the first time, there are now more than 100 placed volunteers at the Queen Margaret and Victoria Hospitals. There are just fewer than 400 volunteers across all NHS Fife services.
The celebration lunch was attended by a diverse range of volunteers from across the organisation, including the 100th placed volunteer, Hugh Bernard, who will be part of the Heart Buddy initiative once he has completed his training. He said: “Heart buddies are people that have gone through the trauma of a heart attack and came out the other side. We go into hospital to chat to patients and share our experiences with others in the same boat. A doctor can give you information about what to expect from a heart issue up to a point, but someone who has actually gone through it knows more about what it feels like and what is going through someone’s head.
“I retired a couple of years ago and I have always been the sort of person that would cross the road to help someone cut their hedge. It feels good to give something back as the staff at the Victoria were so good to me when I had my own heart attack.”
Following lunch, certificates were handed out to long-serving volunteers before a special bouquet of flowers was presented to Play Volunteer, Hazel Rooke, who is set to retire after almost three decades of volunteering. NHS Fife Chair, Tricia Marwick, said it was a privilege to be part of the afternoon: “Our volunteers are a great resource and they make a real difference to both staff and patients; we are incredibly lucky to have them. Many of our volunteers have been helping out for a long-time and have spent hundreds of hours over the years supporting others and sharing their experiences. Hazel is one of our longest-serving volunteers and whilst she will be hugely missed, she will leave in the knowledge that she made an enormous difference to patients and left a lasting impression on all of those she has worked with.”
NHS Fife Acute Services Volunteer Manager, Liz Nicol, added: “Volunteer’s Week is a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on our amazing volunteers. The fact that we now have over 100 volunteers working in our acute services division is testament to how volunteering has grown. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and have a variety of different skills and abilities that can help patients and their families. We have some wonderful volunteers in Fife and it is great to have an opportunity to express our thanks.”
For more information on volunteering please visit www.nhsfife.org/volunteering