St Andrew’s Healthcare hits 100 Thousand Hours’ volunteering in support of mental illness

St Andrew’s Healthcare, in partnership with Samaritans Northampton, the Hope Centre, The Lowdown and Northampton and District Mind, has smashed its #100ThousandHours Volunteering Challenge.  Set in June 2018 as part of National Volunteering Week, the joint challenge was designed to motivate people to see the benefits of volunteering.

Mental health affects 1 in 4 people and the #100ThousandHours campaign was a locally focused effort to reach and benefit as many of those as possible.  Over 12 months the total number of volunteering hours reached was 119,629 – exceeding the target by almost 20 per cent.

Dawn Wright, St Andrew’s Voluntary Services Manager, said: “Setting a target of 100 Thousand Hours of volunteering in just one year was very ambitious. We had a bit of a slow start, taking a couple of months to reach our first 10,000 hours, but an appeal in February drove an overwhelming response.” 

The target was partly achieved thanks to St Andrew’s own 200-plus regular volunteers providing extra hours, and also to St Andrew’s staff members who stepped up and volunteered in a variety of ways. This approach doubled the usual annual volunteering hours to over 30,000.  Mental health partner organisations also went above and beyond the norm in achieving and exceeding the target.

Dawn Wright continued: “The support of volunteers is invaluable in supporting the recovery of people with mental illness. We hope that everyone involved has recognised the value of their volunteering and will be encouraged to continue.”

St Andrew’s Healthcare welcomes volunteers to enrich the lives of its 800 patients. Volunteers give their time, energy and expertise, supporting patient events and escorting our patients to activities sessions. Volunteers also ‘befriend’ patients – by having regular catch-ups with those who rarely have visitors. ‘Pets as Therapy’ teams also visit St Andrew’s hospitals so the people in its care can experience the comfort and companionship of friendly animals.

To find out more about volunteering for St Andrew’s, visit our Volunteering pages.