COLUMN: How to volunteer and give back to the NHS

Earlier this month we thanked and celebrated our volunteers – people who give our services time to help our staff and patients. Their contribution is invaluable.

Lincolnshire Community Health Service NHS Trust's Maz Fosh.
Lincolnshire Community Health Service NHS Trust's Maz Fosh.

As a community trust covering Lincolnshire, we have numerous services and groups that benefit from the contribution volunteers make, and, of course, this also gives a variety of options to volunteers.

These dedicated individuals carry out many different roles, from greeting patients to offering emotional support and a friendly face to patients and staff.

We’ve had great feedback from our volunteers on how rewarding the roles are and how their well-being has improved as a result.

Our volunteering service has expanded and we now have volunteers working as group supporters in our cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation services. They welcome patients and family members, help with infection prevention and engage with patients to motivate, reassure and support them.

We have hospital ward volunteers in Gainsborough and Skegness who keep patients company and do activities with them. They also support at mealtimes.

Our Urgent Treatment Centres are busy places and staff treat people with a range of conditions. Our volunteers here make patients more comfortable by providing emotional and practical support.

LCHS offers flexible volunteering roles and not just patient-facing. We have new virtual volunteering roles.

Volunteers can often provide something that, as health professionals, our staff usually can’t and that’s lived experience of the condition or issue that a patient is suffering from.

We have many exciting roles for volunteers including in urgent care, pulmonary rehabilitation and community hospitals.

If you’re interested in volunteering and giving back to the NHS, see the LCHS website for details.