To celebrate National Volunteering Week (1-8 June), St Andrew's Healthcare are joining forces with other mental health organisations in Northampton to help motivate people to see the benefits of volunteering.
The goal for the #100ThousandHours campaign is a simple one: Together with our partners Northampton Mind, Samaritans Northampton, The Lowdown and the Hope Centre, we aim to achieve a combined 100,000 hours of volunteering.
Dawn Wright, Volunteering Manager for St Andrew's Healthcare, explained: "We hope that by working together with our partner charities we can achieve something amazing - a combined total of 100,000 hours of volunteering. Here at St Andrew's our volunteers make a massive difference to the lives of our patients, and in turn they receive our support, appreciation, training and sincere thanks. We hope that the campaign will reduce the stigma around mental health, while allowing us to recruit some new people to our team."
Julie Ginns, Manager of Northampton Samaritans, added: “Northampton Samaritans are very proud to be celebrating its 50th year of providing a service in Northampton. The Samaritans are looking forward to being part of the St Andrew’s 100 Thousand Hours campaign as we couldn’t provide our services without the dedication of volunteers.”
Mind Northampton are also supporting the campaign. Manager Matthew Foreman explained: “I personally began as a volunteer, as did many of the staff members at MIND and we were able to see personally what it did for us. Now as a Manager, I am able to see what volunteers add to our service. We are very happy to be working with St Andrew’s and fellow campaign partners in Northampton as part of this project. Volunteers are a vital part of our provision.”
Louise Danielczuk, Fundraising and Marketing Manager for The Hope Centre, is looking forward to the campaign. She explained: “The Hope Centre is a haven of support for the homeless in Northampton. Volunteering plays a huge role in the development and rehabilitation of those accessing our service and we are really excited to be partnering with St Andrew’s to help reach the 100,000 hours. We hope that this initiative will motivate those who already volunteer to give more and encourage new volunteers to join in and see the benefits of volunteering.”
The Lowdown Youth Counselling Service in Northampton also greatly value their volunteers. Ellie White, Resources and Marketing Manager commented: “Volunteers are at the heart of the lowdown and the services we provide to young people, without them our services wouldn’t exist. We are delighted to be part of the 100 thousand hours campaign with St Andrews, Mind, Samaritans and The Hope Centre to raise awareness of the life changing support our volunteers give to people across the county with Mental health and other issues. We also want to promote the importance of volunteer roles and get more people engaged and involved in services such as ours.”
At St Andrew's Healthcare our volunteers go to incredible lengths to enrich the lives of our 800 patients. Our volunteers give us their time, energy and expertise, supporting patient events and escorting our patients to activities sessions. They also commit to befriending - visiting people on the wards who do not have visitors – and spend time chatting and playing games. We also have a team who bring their Pets as Therapy dogs to our hospitals, so the people in our care can spend time with their animals and experience the joy, comfort and companionship that friendly animals and wagging tails can bring.
If you are an individual, a business, a community group, or a team of friends and you would like to pledge your time to make a difference to the lives of people in need, all you have to do is sign up and donate some hours of volunteering with any of the campaign partners.