3 June 2024

Monday 3 June marks the 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week – a week that is celebrated nationally, and shines a light on the incredible impact that volunteers make.

Throughout the week, the Trust, which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals, will be thanking those who give their time freely and as a special thank you, an event was held on 29 May at Wroxeter Hotel to celebrate their contributions.

At The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), there are around 300 volunteers who support patients, their families and colleagues. That net is cast even wider if you include the many charities and organisations whose volunteers also support the Trust.

Julia Clarke, Director of Public Participation, said “It is not in the nature of volunteers to ask for thanks, they quietly help and support people without expecting anything in return, but Volunteers Week gives us a great opportunity to just say a heartfelt thank you.

“Within our volunteer team there are some remarkable achievements – we have at least five who have volunteered within our hospitals for over 20 years – our oldest volunteer is 89 years young!  We are profoundly grateful to all our volunteers for their invaluable contribution to our hospitals and the care and kindness they show our staff and patients all year round.”

Volunteering at the Trust can take many forms. SaTH Programmes include:

  • The core volunteers who volunteer throughout the year in one or more of our 30 different roles that are available to best suits them
  • Youth Volunteers who are 16-18 and looking to get valuable volunteer hours as work experience for further education
  • The Volunteer to Career Programme (VtC) is a flagship programme, nationally recognised open to people from all ages and give them an insight into a career within the NHS in a service area (currently Maternity and Radiotherapy) and training in skills to prepare them for job interviews, CV writing etc
  • Our Specialty Patient Experience Group (SPEG) volunteers who are volunteers who join groups and panels to share experiences and make improvements.

For almost 60 years the Trust has also benefitted from League of Friends whose volunteers look after the four café’s/shops at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital who, with their fundraising volunteers, have raised over £15million for the Charity.

Richard Steventon, Executive Chairman, League of Friends, said: “Volunteers offer the patients a touch of kindness and a friendly smile alongside a cup of tea, at what can be a difficult time. Our volunteers range from youngsters, gaining useful first work experiences, to our retired volunteers who use the time to enjoy socialising and want to ‘give something back’. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers for everything they do for us and for the hospital patients and colleagues.”

Naomi Atkin, CEO of Lingen Davies Cancer Fund said “Whether it is serving refreshments to patients, working behind the scenes in our office or becoming a Cancer Champion to help raise awareness of early diagnosis, the time our volunteers give to making a difference is truly remarkable. It goes without saying, we couldn’t do what we do without them so a huge thank you to each and every volunteer that has supported the charity over the last 45 years.”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at SaTH, please visit: Volunteering at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (sath.nhs.uk)