National Volunteers’ Week 2020
01 June 2020

SCFT marks National Volunteers’ Week by saying thank you

The vital contribution that dedicated volunteers make to the NHS in Sussex as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic is being celebrated this Volunteers Week.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is the main provider of community care across the county. More than 500 volunteers support patients, staff and services across East and West Sussex, giving up hundreds of hours every single month.

Over the last three months the Trust’s Voluntary and Community Development Team has adapted volunteer roles to allow people to continue to volunteer safely, as well as creating brand new roles to support patients and services.

Some of the new voluntary roles created include providing telephone support to patients, delivering vital NHS equipment between sites and supporting the Trust’s chaplaincy service to become telephone based.

Volunteers have also been busy providing remote administrative help, online breast feeding peer advice and guidance and Macmillan bereavement volunteers have been providing telephone support.

Although many of the Trust’s 500 volunteers have had to temporarily stop working, there are still 67 active volunteers, giving more than 530 hours a month. Those who have taken on roles delivering equipment have delivered more than 136,000 pieces of equipment to services over the last few weeks.

This National Volunteers Week (June 1 – 7) SCFT is saying thank you to its family of volunteers and has recorded a special video that you can view here.

Mandy Cleaver, Voluntary Services and Community Development Lead at SCFT, said: “The last three months have seen a great deal of change in how volunteers are supporting our services and patients at SCFT.

“This National Volunteers Week we want to thank our volunteer family of 500 volunteers across East and West Sussex who have been incredible during this challenging time for the NHS, as well as the country as a whole. Many have sadly had to stand down during this period, but many have come forward, offering to help SCFT in new ways. The offers of support have been overwhelming, and volunteers have been continuing to make a big difference across the Trust.

“We have all had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to recognise our volunteers, particularly during this National Volunteers Week, for their incredible continued support, generosity and enthusiasm. “

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive of Sussex Community Trust, led the video thank you to volunteers and added: “The work of the volunteers is vital to our organisation and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication. They make life that little bit better for our patients in so many different ways. Whether their role is to welcome visitors, serve beverages on the wards, support patients  in an exercise group or provide chaplaincy support, we are extremely grateful for their help, compassion and dedication.”