Last year through the winter months the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) offered extra shifts to help on the busy wards and in the A&E departments and this year they have stepped up again.
During the next few months, the charity’s volunteers are conducting extra rounds with their trolleys and providing free water and fruit to patients, visitors and staff teams alike. Extra stops will be made at the A&E and outpatients departments to ensure those facing longer-than-usual waiting times will be offered some refreshment.
The RVS has been supporting the NHS since its inception 70 years ago and today the charity has thousands of volunteers providing comfort and compassion to staff and patients through its cafés, shops and legendary ward trolleys.
Gloria Sullivan, volunteer at Prince Charles Hospital said: “I’ve been volunteering at the hospital for almost 10 years in the RVS Cafe and as soon as the call went out for volunteers to help out on A&E I put myself forward. I think the doctors and nurses do a brilliant job but they need all of the help they can get at the moment with so many people suffering the effects of winter viruses.”
Allison Williams, chief executive, says: “We really appreciate the service that the Royal Voluntary Service provides to our staff, patients and visitors.
“They not only provide the hospitals with a trolley service but a friendly face that our patients look forward to seeing. Many patients on the wards don’t have visitors so the chat that the Royal Voluntary Service provide on their daily rounds makes a huge difference to their day. We are very grateful for their support throughout our hospitals.”
Catherine Johnstone CBE, chief executive at Royal Voluntary Service said: “Having seen the challenges facing NHS services this winter on a daily basis, our volunteers said they would like to do more for the people we support. Their generosity will allow Royal Voluntary Service to send out more trolleys, give faster service and just to be there with a hand of friendship to those who need it most at challenging times. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to us asking our valued volunteers to do more, but essentially they wanted to do what they have always done and do so brilliantly; roll their sleeves up and pitch in to help. We are incredibly grateful for their support.”