As Volunteers Week draws to aclose, our Trust Chair, Ingrid Barker, says thank you to all our volunteers.
As I am working from home, I am sitting in my kitchen recalling our terrific volunteers‘ tea party last year. There were 130 volunteers there from what were then still two Trusts – 2gether and Gloucestershire Care Services and it was the first time we had all come together to get to know each other and celebrate the amazing work that you all do as volunteers. We heard stories of what you are doing to contribute to the services and make a difference to people’s lives, we had live music and, of course, tea and cakes!
Such a lot has happened since our tea party. The merger of the two Trusts took place last October, creating Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust. Many of you got involved in creating our new Trust WARM values (as seen in our footer here with the logo). Some of you also got involved in the Better Care Together events, helping us to think about how we can create really integrated services that meet the needs of the whole person – mental and physical health alike. Others of you helped us think about our big priorities for the new Trust Strategy to guide our planning in the coming months and years. Thank you to all of you who have helped to make the new Trust what is now is, working ‘With You For You’.
Also in more recent times we have all been facing the Covid pandemic. It has impacted on all of us. Some have been unwell or lost loved ones, some have been shielding, some have been working from home and others are on the front line as key workers. For our volunteers it has had a big impact. Some of the roles you would normally undertake simply aren’t possible with the restrictions of the pandemic. Some of you are vulnerable to the virus yourselves, so having to stay at home. However, we have been able to welcome new volunteers to join us as people have generously wanted to give their time and energy to the NHS at this particularly challenging time. We have also seen enormous generosity from local people and businesses in donating goodies fro our collegues and patients, in sewing scrubs and other PPE and in charitable giving to the NHS. It is all hugely appreciated by our Trust colleagues who value the support and appreciation greatly.
Whatever your contribution has been over the last year, whether you have been volunteering with us for many years or just joined us recently, I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to each and every one of you. You give selflessly of your time and your kindness makes such a big difference to the people we serve. I hope that we will be able to meet again before too much longer to share again in tea, cakes and friendship.
Warm best wishes to you all,