1st June- 5th June 2020 is Volunteers’ Week. Throughout the week we’ll be celebrating all the amazing volunteers that have helped us get through the last few months.
Our Volunteers are vital in helping to support a number of projects and services we offer throughout the Health Board all year round. However, over the past few months, their help and selfless generosity has become even more crucial than ever during these difficult times.
Throughout the week, we will be saying ‘THANK YOU’ to our invaluable volunteers and celebrating their work by shining a light on the enormous contribution they make to our Health Board.
To end Volunteers week, we’d like to celebrate the amazing community spirit we see every year from our volunteers and members of our community. To our Ffrind i Mi Hospital Volunteers, End of Life Companions, Volunteer Drivers and Llanfrechfa Grange Walled Garden Volunteers, we are so grateful for everything you do for us. Our knitting and sewing communities have also always been kind to us, but the time, effort and dedication they have shown us during this Pandemic has been astonishing.
And finally, our Person Centred Care Team who manage our Volunteer Service. Throughout COVID they have continued to recruit new volunteers and keep in touch with our existing volunteers. We are so grateful to every single volunteer!
Find out more below about the different roles of our volunteers and why they love what they do..
Thursday 4th June
Our Partner Organisations
Today, we are celebrating our partnership organisations, including The Royal Voluntary Service, Age Cymru, Blood Bikes Wales and League of Friends, to name just a few. The support, donations and voluntary services they provide to us help us in so many ways. Thank you all!
Discover more below about how some of our partner organisations have been continuing to help us, even throughout the current Pandemic..
Wednesday 3rd June
Our Therapy Dogs
Today we are celebrating our Pets as Therapy dogs, who would normally be regular visitors to our Hospitals and have provided enormous joy to our patients over the years.
Sally and her dog Molly (above) provide weekly visits to the Intensive Care Unit at Nevill Hall Hospital. While they’ve been unable to attend in recent months due to Covid-19, Molly has been doing virtual Ward Rounds by e-mailing an update ITU every week.
Read the Dog Diaries of some of our Therapy Dogs volunteers, where they talk about their experiences and tell us why they love volunteering in our Hospitals..
Tuesday 2nd June
Our Intergenerational Volunteers
Today we are celebrating all the children and young people who are involved in our intergenerational friendships. They bring so much joy to our patients and staff and we look forward to welcoming them back at our hospitals in the future.
Gwent Police Cadets and Heddlu Bach
During the COVID-19 pandemic, The NxtGen Team of Officers from Gwent Police felt it would be a great idea to try and engage with residents who weren’t able to see their families or friends in our local Care Homes. Here are Cadets Luci-ann, Callum and Eleanor writing to their friends, and letters from members of Heddlu Bach.
Alex, from Gwent Police said:
“The Police Cadets and our Mini Police (Heddlu Bach) were chosen to write letters and create pictures to help brighten the days of the residents in our Gwent Care Homes, where a number of replies were received from the residents and sent back to our Cadets and Mini Police.
We feel that this project has made a difference to the Gwent Care Home residents’ experiences during COVID-19 and I know the responses from the residents have been gratefully received.
When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, we will work together so that our Police Cadets can provide a regular contact to residents within the Homes throughout Gwent.”
Thank you Police Cadets! #VolunteersWeek2020
If you’d like to volunteer, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Newport Youth Justice Service
Newport Youth Justice Service have continued to connect young people and the elderly through intergenerational activities during Covid-19.
“In partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, the young people from Newport Youth Justice Service are making “Friendship Bracelets” that they give out to care home residents with an attached handmade friendship card. During these unprecedented times, it is a way of enabling the young people to help in some way and also helps to keep them occupied during the current government restrictions.
The Newport Youth Justice Service are keen for this relationship to carry on past COVID-19, whereby when restrictions are relaxed, they may be able to visit the care homes within the local area to complete craft sessions with the residents.”
The Youth Justice Service have also kindly been making Pamper Bags that include necessities and a few treats for hospital staff.
Fiona Gibson, from the Youth Justice Service said: “The project involves young people who have to complete reparation hours preparing these packages for Aneurin Bevan as part of the restorative element of their intervention. The team of young people, staff and volunteers have come together, not only to keep young people engaged during lockdown but to support them in making a positive contribution to the community. So proud of this great team and the work that has been done!”
(Pictured above- Blaenau Gwent Police Cadets at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan)
Monday 1st June
Our Befriending Services
Today we are celebrating our Ffrind i Mi Volunteers who befriend vulnerable members of our community. We couldn’t say thank you to our telephone befriending service without mentioning this incredible lady. Julie lives with a terminal illness and speaks to a number of lonely and isolated people on the phone every week. Although this video was filmed last year, Julie is still doing everything she can to befriend people over the phone, and during this Pandemic, she’s been asking if there’s anyone else she can call. She is truly inspirational and we are so priveleged to have her as a Volunteer.
We would like to thank our CHAaT volunteers, who are all retired NHS staff. CHAaT volunteers visit nursing homes and speak to residents and relatives about their experience of care #VolunteerWeek2020
We would like to say thank you to our Ffrind i Mi volunteers that have set up friendship groups.
Although the current situation means that their members can no longer meet directly, both the Maindee and Caerleon Friendship Group Volunteers have still been keeping in touch and are providing much needed telephone befriending. With a little help from Asda Pillgwenlly, our Ffrind i Mi Volunteers have also been putting together Well-being packs for members of the groups.
The Befriending Service is more important than ever now that so many people are currently living alone, with very little contact with others. A lot of people are a lot less lonely thanks to our kind-hearted Ffrind i Mi volunteers!
(Pictured below - Maindee Group, Telephone Befriending Service - please note, photograph taken pre-COVID-19)