It’s Volunteers’ Week 1 – 7 June. Time to celebrate and say thanks for the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering – including those who support the work of local health and care champion, Healthwatch Dorset.
Healthwatch Dorset is supported by 97 volunteers, including 46 new volunteers who joined the team this year, and 11 new Young Listeners, aged between 16 – 24, who recently started work on a new project.
Over the last year:
- Healthwatch Dorset volunteers have contributed 1,261 hours of their time.
- 11 trained volunteers carried out over 200 feedback interviews over the phone with people who had visited Poole A&E in 2021.
- Three young volunteers were ‘highly commended’ in the Healthwatch England Awards for their work raising awareness of living with type 1 diabetes.
- Four volunteers bravely shared their mental health experiences in a moving film created by another four volunteers for World Mental Health Day.
“I wanted to take part in the film because I knew that talking about my mental health on camera would take me out of my comfort zone, and by talking about it, it would help me and other people.” Shannon, on taking part in the ‘It’s OK to talk’ mental health awareness video.
- 53 volunteers reviewed websites, leaflets and documents from the NHS, Councils and other stakeholders to make sure messages for the public are clear and easy to understand.
- 7 articles were written by volunteers to help Healthwatch Dorset raise awareness of health and care issues and campaigns.
- Volunteer Richie was named one of Healthwatch England’s #HealthwatchHeroes for his contribution with informative blog writing, tying in his studies in Nutrition and Behaviour with the Healthwatch campaigns calendar.
“Volunteering for Healthwatch Dorset has been great because it has allowed me to share the knowledge that I’m learning on my university course with a wider audience. It has helped me to think about ways to explain certain concepts for a diverse audience that doesn’t necessarily have a background in nutrition, psychology, or science in general, in that way it’s very different from the writing on my course. Another really positive aspect is that I’ve learnt about many local health services and am frequently updated with volunteering opportunities.” Richie
Healthwatch Dorset Volunteer Officer, Holly Drinkwater, works closely with the volunteers, coordinating and supporting their work. She said: “Our volunteers are at the heart of what we do, and I am forever grateful for the help they provide for us to deliver the Healthwatch Dorset service. For Volunteers’ Week I would like to thank all the Healthwatch Dorset volunteers for the hours that they put in to help shape the future of health and social care services in Dorset.”