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Posted on May 26 2023 by Fiona Bailey

Volunteers at a Northampton mental health charity have collectively clocked up a total of 14,000 hours in service in just under a year.

St Andrew’s Healthcare, located on Billing Road, has released the figures to mark Volunteers' Week 2023  which starts on Thursday, June 1.

The Charity’s volunteers play an important role as many of them visit patients who may not have family. Some volunteers have chosen to work around the Charity when they are can, serving in cafes or helping out to maintain the grounds. Some volunteers bring in their dogs for ward visits and help out at patient events.

Anne Ford is St Andrew’s longest-serving volunteer having now been helping the Charity for an impressive 54 years.

During her tenure, the 80-year-old has fulfilled many different roles and is currently helping out in the medical library.

She said: “Volunteering has given me a whole new perspective on life. I really believe in St Andrew’s and all the work they do with their patients, so I’ve always been very generous with my time. It’s extremely satisfying knowing that spending time with someone could really be making a difference.

“Sadly, there are patients at the hospital who don’t have family or friends who can visit, so the volunteers fill that void. Volunteer visits gives the patients something to look forward to, sometimes even giving them a purpose to get up in the morning, while the volunteer can feel fulfilment and satisfaction that they are really making a difference.

“For me, it’s a privilege to have been part of the St Andrew’s story for so long and I’ve loved every minute of carrying out my volunteering roles.”

Dawn Wright, the Voluntary Services Manager, said: “We’re hugely honoured to have such dedicated and caring people such as Anne work with us. We’re hugely grateful to Anne and the rest of our dedicated volunteers for their time and enthusiasm. We’re so lucky to have volunteers who really care and the way many of them talk about our patients is truly humbling.

“The time and commitment all our volunteers give to us is hugely appreciated and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their hard work. Although we already have a great team of volunteers, we’re always on the look out for more, so for anyone who is considering signing up, please look into it. My door is always open and my email always accessible. We welcome any amount of time, no matter how small, even if it’s just an hour a month.”

For more information on volunteering, click here.