Individual or Team Nomination?
In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:
- Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
- Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
- Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
- High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
- A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Nominee's story :
The work that goes in to grow a volunteer service that supports and develops the individual volunteer to have a fulfilling and rewarding experience, whilst also improving our patients’ stay and support to our staff, can often seem like a seamless process, however the work behind the scenes to lead and deliver this can often be hidden behind the amazing outcomes delivered by our volunteers. A service such as this, would not be possible without a leader that is able to coordinate, inspire and is willing to continuously push forward for new volunteer initiatives and opportunities, which ultimately improve outcomes for our patients.
In 2016, Paul joined the trust as a one man band, to coordinate volunteers- something that had never been in place previously. At this time, there were a handful of volunteers that provided support; the trust now has a team of 260 volunteers across both hospital sites (University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool). In addition to this, the trust has approx. 100 external volunteers that provide services to our patients such as the mobile library service and hospital radio station which are overseen by Paul, via third party agreements.
Since starting in the role, Paul has supported the development of the volunteer driver service from initially outpatient appointments only, to a service which now takes patients home who are being discharged from a hospital stay and also delivers medication and orthotic aids to patients who would have no other means of collecting the items. On average this service supports 350 patients on a monthly basis.
Paul has secured funding from other avenues to pilot projects which are aimed to improve the outcomes for our patients. After a difficult start to the ‘Home but Not Alone’ project due to the pandemic, Paul lead the team that re-introduced this initiative, which supports patients who are going home from hospital and are at risk of loneliness and isolation. To date, this project has supported 180 patients and provided over 350 follow-up calls to ‘check-in’ with patients.
The term ‘grow your own’ is very appropriate to associate with the volunteer service within the trust as Paul is committed to engaging with young people, to educate and inspire them about the volunteer opportunities available and how volunteering can develop personal skills, experience and also support students into further education or employment within the NHS. Since the academic year of September 2023, Paul has visited 6 colleges which has led to 48 volunteer applications. Currently, Paul is leading the Volunteer to Career Pilot Programme within the trust, which aims to support volunteers into employment- a passion that Paul has brought from his previous role from welfare to work. Paul has led the staff team involved and six months in to the programme, 6 volunteers have secured employment. Paul has ambitions to develop the initiative into other areas of the trust and has already begun to have those discussions with the appropriate services and departments to make this happen.