Volunteers from Epsom and St Helier hospitals were treated to an afternoon of tea, cake and music as part of a special event held in recognition of the valuable contribution they make to the hospitals, patients, visitors and staff.
On what turned out to be a warm and sunny afternoon, 160 volunteers gathered at the Queen’s Stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse, where they were joined by the trust’s Chief Executive, Daniel Elkeles, and Chairman, Laurence Newman. Chief Executive Daniel said: “We are very fortunate to receive a huge amount of support from our volunteers, over 500 of whom give their time each week to provide a range of services and offer additional help to our patients and visitors.
“Our volunteers come from a range of ages and backgrounds, bringing a wide variety of skills and interests to their roles. Our youngest volunteers are just 17; the oldest is almost 92. Volunteers and the charities that support our hospitals make an invaluable contribution, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds and giving over 78,000 hours of their time each year, for which we are incredibly grateful.”
The occasion was particularly special for eight volunteers who were celebrated for reaching a long service landmark of either 15 or 25 years, totalling more than 150 years (and counting) of service between them! Awards for 15 years’ service were presented to:
- Shirley Attrell of The Royal Voluntary Service
- Yann Trevou of Disability Information Centre Epsom
- Jean Hedger of The Friends of Epsom Hospital
- Jeanie Beatty and Janet Hockey of The League of Friends for St Helier and Sutton Hospitals.
Awards for 25 years’ service were presented to:
- Lilian Porter of The Royal Voluntary Service
- Liz White and Meg Murrant of The Friends of Epsom Hospital.
On presenting the volunteers with their long service awards, Chief Executive Daniel said: “Recognising and thanking our volunteers is incredibly important, and it was a pleasure to be able to honour those who have reached long service milestones, showing such outstanding commitment to supporting our hospitals.”
Jeanie Beatty, who received an award for 15 years’ service with the League of Friends at St Helier, said: “Receiving the award was nerve-wracking but exciting! Being recognised and congratulated for volunteering for so many years made me feel very special. The tea party was a wonderful afternoon – knowing that the work we do is appreciated, and that people take the time to acknowledge the time we give, makes a big difference.”
None of the volunteers in attendance went away empty handed, as members of the trust executive team handed out a box chocolates to everyone in attendance, as well thanking them personally for all of their hard work. Chief Nurse, Charlotte Hall, said: “Although we are sure to thank our volunteers regularly for everything that they do, the tea party was a great opportunity to recognise them, and how valuable they are to us, on a grander scale.”
For more information about charities that support the trust and to get involved in volunteering, please visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/get-involved.