NHS Dumfries and Galloway volunteers in summer celebrations

Volunteers from NHS Dumfries and Galloway gathered on national Volunteer Week to unveil a plaque for a tree planted in the grounds of the new hospital a year ago.

The plaque reads ‘Celebrating Volunteers Past, Present & Future 5th June 2018’ and its unveiling marked the start of a month-long celebration of another year of learning, achievement and success with their volunteer work, training and awards.

At a night time quiz and buffet at the Easterbrook Hall, Jeff Ace, Chief Executive for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, presented many volunteers – representing all 200 currently registered – with the Investing in Volunteers Award, congratulating them on their achievement and thanking them for their invaluable contribution to the patient, staff and visitor experience at our hospitals.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s volunteering programme achieved the top award for its commitment to a clear and effective investment in volunteers including the placement of a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator, a significant increase in volunteer involvement by people of all ages and backgrounds, and the development of a range of volunteering roles.

Midway through June volunteers took to the outdoors at Mabie Forest for a group Health Walk followed by the final event in the celebrations, an afternoon tea at the Mabie House Hotel.

Joan Pollard, Associate Director of Allied Health Professions, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said: “I’m delighted that NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Volunteers Programme has been awarded this highly respected accolade. Although we have a long history of volunteering, our programme has been massively extended with the opening of our new hospital in December 2018, and has gone from strength to strength with over 200 volunteers now supporting patients and their families and staff at DGRI, Mountainhall Treatment Centre and community hospitals.

“The Investing in Volunteers Award is testament to the dedication and commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers, and to the quality of our volunteering programme.

“Our volunteers make a significant difference every day to patients and their families and to our staff. They are highly valued and as an organisation we are committed to providing the best possible volunteering experience. We do this by providing a range of training opportunities, facilitating volunteer peer support group meetings, and the programme was awarded a grant from the Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board Endowment Fund to cover any volunteer’s expenses such as uniforms, travel to and from where they carry out their volunteer role and training events.”

Margaret McGroggan, Volunteer Co-ordinator for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said it was a pleasure to arrange the celebratory events and activities with their volunteers.

“They are so committed and work really hard in their role so it’s good that many have enjoyed socialising together and celebrating their achievements to coincide with this year’s National Volunteer Week,” she added.

“For anyone who is considering becoming a volunteer there is so much to be gained from being a part of this programme. People take up the role of volunteer for a whole host of reasons including gaining valuable experience, improving employability prospects, socialising and meeting new people, bringing structure to the week and being active. For some it’s a way of building up or regaining confidence and for some it’s very simply about helping others.”

The next volunteering recruitment event will take place on Thursday 31st October at Mountainhall Treatment Centre, however you can still make enquires now and register your interest by emailing: dg.volunteering@nhs.net or telephone 01387 246246.

The tree plaque, and events and activities with a cost were sponsored, funded or paid for by local businesses, with the exception of the Mabie House afternoon tea which was paid for by volunteers individually.