“Although I began volunteering to help others, it has helped me just as much” - Solent NHS Trust celebrates its dedicated volunteers
1-7 June is National Volunteers’ Week and Solent NHS Trust is using the opportunity to showcase the brilliant work its volunteers in Portsmouth do.
Sue Harriman, Chief Executive, Solent NHS Trust, said: “Over the last year, the coronavirus pandemic has seen the NHS face unprecedented challenges, and the work of volunteers, who give their time generously to enhance the lives of patients and their families in our communities, has never been more apparent.
“We are so proud of the work of our regular and longstanding volunteers, as well as those who have come on board to support the rollout of our four large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centres. Every volunteer makes a positive difference to those who access our services through to supporting people in receiving their COVID-19 vaccine. All in all, volunteers brilliantly contribute to keeping more people across Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight healthy, safe and independent at, or close to, home. A heartfelt thank you to everyone.”
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas, accompanied by Mrs Joy Maddox as Lady Mayoress, visited St James’ Vaccination Centre on 1 June to express thanks to all of the volunteers who are helping support the running of the centre. Over 600 volunteers work at the vaccination site each week.
Daisy Leake, 18 (pictured), has volunteered for the NHS as a meet and greet volunteer at St James’ Hospital since February 2021. Lockdown meant Daisy’s final year of college was completed online, ahead of her plans to study paramedic science at the University of Surrey this September.
She explained: “I had lots of spare time and I wanted to do something that would help others and volunteering at the vaccination centre with the NHS was a perfect opportunity. Although I began volunteering to help others, it has helped me just as much, it is such a positive environment and community to be a part of.”
Daisy’s volunteering has cemented her passion to help those in need. She continued: “I really enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds, at different stages of their lives. I have also met paramedics whilst volunteering who have provided me with tips for the future.”
Sue Harriman continued: “We extend a huge thank you to our partners across the voluntary sector, including The Hive, St John Ambulance, the Royal Voluntary Service, and Hampshire Search and Rescue. They are by our side every step of the way in helping us provide the very best care and support to those who need our help and services, and we are really proud to have all of our volunteers in the Solent family.”
If like Daisy, you are looking for a way to make a difference to your community and help those in need, why not join the team of volunteers at St James’ vaccination centre? Please visit https://www.academy.solent.nhs.uk/vaccine-volunteers/portsmouth-centre/ to find out more and get involved.