Recognising the contribution of our volunteers

From left, James Shaw, volunteer to work, Deborah Goodson, volunteer to work coordinator and Doreen Whitter, volunteer to work.
From left, James Shaw, volunteer to work, Deborah Goodson, volunteer to work coordinator and Doreen Whitter, volunteer to work.

We said a big thank you to all our volunteers at a special event last week in the Great Hall of historic Hall Place in Bexley.

Linda Sanders, centre in pink and Julie Langford to her right in black from voluntary services with some of the volunteers.
Linda Sanders, centre in pink and Julie Langford to her right in black from voluntary services with some of the volunteers.

The day was put together by staff from the voluntary services and social inclusion teams and was an opportunity for our volunteers to relax, socialise and visit a range of stalls. These included: the Greenwich Market stall run by service users and staff from the Bracton Centre; free health checks from our adult community services; advice and information about job hunting from SEEC - a social enterprise employment company; complementary therapies from the Feel Good Co-Operative; the give2give foundation that 'upcycles' and resells donated items for good causes in Bromley; the Chinese Performing Arts Centre; advice from the long term conditions team around diabetes and an Oxleas stall offering general advice about keeping fit.

Linda Sanders, Voluntary Service Manager, said: "Our volunteers put in a tremendous effort on behalf of the trust year in year out. They help us in many areas including befriending, gardening, driving, and the snack shops at Memorial Hospital on Shooter's Hill and Oxleas House at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich."

As well as our regular volunteers, people taking part in our Volunteer to Work (V2W) scheme were also in attendance. Doreen Whitter is coming to the end of her placement having been on the scheme for 17 months. She said: "Volunteering to work has been very good for me. It gives you a regular routine, like getting up in the morning and going to work. I've had lots of support from the (social inclusion) team for my placement at The Heights. It was hard at first, just making the journey every morning was stressful. But they reassured me, allowed me to learn new skills at my own pace, and my confidence has really grown. Now I'm looking for paid employment and I'm planning to apply for temporary work with Oxleas."

Since V2W began in January 2010, 226 people have taken part, 59 of whom are currently in a placement and 25 have moved on to paid employment. Around 100 placements have been created.

Our Chairman Dave Mellish spoke to the volunteers following lunch and thanked them on behalf of the trust for their exceptional contributions.

Published on 19th June 2013