DEDICATED WRVS volunteers, from teenagers to octogenarians, were thanked by staff at Basildon University Hospital for their unpaid work and fundraising achievements.
Over 20 members of the team attended a reception to celebrate the contribution they make to the Trust, and to mark long service milestones for some of the volunteers.
Long-serving WRVS volunteers (L-R) Joyce Wilson, Josie Vincent and Sheila Lack
Chris Hall, WRVS local service manager, thanked the guests for their hard work. She said: “We are so grateful to everyone who generously gives their time to work unpaid at the Trust, and for your fantastic fund-raising efforts. You make a real difference for patients.”
Two nurses told the WRVS volunteers about new equipment purchased with money they have raised.
Linda Pilley, lead nurse in the cardiac department, described how four new Drager monitors, used to check blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and heart rhythm, will improve patient care.
She said: “The new monitors will help us provide safer and more effective care for our patients, who can be monitored immediately and regularly after their procedure.
“Our team are extremely grateful for your £30,000 donation. Your efforts often go unsung but make a real difference to our patients.”
Annie Hendry, lead nurse for osteoporosis and falls, added: “About seven years ago the WRVS helped us buy a Dexa scanner that checks bone density and can help predict risk of fractures and possible medical complications.
“Your latest donation means we can buy new software to „top up‟ the capacity of the scanner, and speed up analysis of the scans. It will also help us to spot any changes in bone density and treat patients more effectively. We are really grateful for your donation, and perhaps some of you will benefit from it in the future.”
Among the volunteers celebrating long service milestones were Josie Vincett, 78, and Joyce Wilson, 81, both from Basildon, who have each clocked up 25 years of unpaid work for the WRVS.
Both ladies had retired from clerical jobs and brought up families before they began volunteering. Josie said: “I began working in the hospital shop and taking the trolley round. I enjoy volunteering because it gets me out of the house, meeting other people and keeping busy.”
Joyce added: “I plan to keep on going as long as I can.”
Sheila Lack, 75, also from Basildon, has volunteered with the WRVS at the hospital for 15 years, after retiring from a job at the communications company, Marconi. She said: “My husband was cared for in this hospital when he was ill, and I wanted to give something back. I love working in the WRVS shop because there‟s always someone interesting to have a chat with.”
The WRVS welcomes volunteers of all ages, male and female. Ben Patterson, 16, is the youngest volunteer at Basildon University Hospital. A pupil at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, Ben is studying for his AS levels and aims to become a doctor. He has been helping out in the WRVS shop on Saturdays since last October.
Ben feels it is important to give something to society and the voluntary work has given him more idea of how a hospital works. He said: “It is an opportunity for me to interact with visitors, patients and staff; you meet so many different people of all ages here. It is also a good way to take a break from school work and take my mind off exams. I would definitely recommend WRVS volunteering to other young people.”