Pembrokeshire health service volunteers celebrated


Volunteers from Pembrokeshire who help patients and staff at Withybush Hospital have been celebrated as part of National Volunteers Week.
As part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations of National Volunteers Week, volunteers from the university health board’s Volunteering for Health project and from Withybush Hospital League of Friends attended a special event hosted by Chairman Chris Martin.
The Leagues of Friends support the university health board’s acute and community hospitals and received a Chairman’s certificate of commendation for the invaluable support of their fundraising activities over a number of years which has helped to improve patient services and experiences at all hospitals.
The Chairman of Hywel Dda University Health Board, usually awards commendations to staff who work above and beyond their call of duty to help to improve services. This is the first time that anyone other than a staff member has received a Certificate of Commendation from the Chairman.
Mr Martin said: ‘I am delighted to be able to recognise the work of our unsung heroes and volunteers including the League of Friends across Pembrokeshire.
“The League of Friends are receiving my own Chairman’s certificates of Commendation in recognition of their dedication, hard work and amazing fundraising over many, many years.
“The £10,000s they have raised has improved the patient experience and outcomes in our hospitals and quite frankly we couldn’t have delivered our services without their help and support.”
The certificate was received by chairman of the League of Friends and their longest serving volunteer, Arthur, who is also a D-day veteran.
Volunteering for Health volunteers across the three counties in the last year have carried out 14,000 hours of volunteering resulting in 56,000 patient contacts.
They carry out a variety of roles in Withybush and South Pembrokeshire Hospitals including befriending, supporting breast feeding mums, meeting and greeting visitors and supporting pharmacy and staff to take prescription drugs to patients on wards.
David Fretwell, head of volunteering services, said: “Our volunteers are wonderful and can really make a difference to patients when they come into hospital, just taking time to sit with a patient and have a friendly chat can be so rewarding for both patient and volunteers.”
Mr Martin added: “The event was an opportunity for me to say a personal thank you, although thank you doesn’t seem enough because they have made such a difference and touched so many people’s lives, helping and supporting their recovery and generally improving their health and wellbeing.”
For more information on Volunteering for Health go to www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/volunteering for more information on fundraising go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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