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Connected, supported, inspired – the Helpforce Network events hailed as a success

11th July 2019

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OVER 100 NHS volunteer service managers across the country came together to share best volunteering practices at the Helpforce Network Roadshows.

The events, which took place in Middlesbrough, Birmingham, and London, were highly praised by NHS staff for the informative, engaging and thought-provoking sessions.

Emma Bond, Health and Wellbeing Information Centre Manager at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I really enjoyed coming to one of the three events. It was fantastic. I was able to make new connections as well as learn so much from other NHS colleagues, especially about developing volunteering roles that will be very helpful for our new project at our Trust.

“I’m very grateful to Helpforce for helping us connect with our colleagues across the country. I started my new role late last year and thanks to joining the Helpforce Network, I have the opportunity to learn new knowledge and skills that are very helpful for my job.

“I would recommend more NHS Trusts join the network. The people are so friendly, helpful, and welcoming. It’s definitely a good place to get connected, supported and inspired.”

Sally Williams, Helpforce Network Manager, said: “We’re delighted to see many NHS volunteer service managers (VSMs) came to our events.

“This is the first year we held three regional network events across England and the outcomes exceeded our expectations.

“The Helpforce Network is for volunteer managers in the NHS. It is unique and we are proud of our members, who come together to support each other, making sure the power of volunteering benefit patients and NHS staff.

“At all three events, VSMs were encouraged to discuss and work together to overcome challenges that they face on a daily basis, such as how to improve the volunteer recruitment process, how to get NHS staff engage with volunteers, and ways to raise their volunteers profile within their Trusts.

“We’re very proud that about 80 per cent of our colleagues, who attended the events, said that they would be able to use the knowledge that they gained from those discussions to help with their work.

“We are grateful to the support of our members and partners, especially NHS England and the Big Lottery Fund, for giving us so much support to ensure the success of our network.”

Emma Valentine, Senior Strategic Advisor (Volunteering) at NHS Improvement/ NHS England, added: “I was delighted to attend all three events and engage with so many volunteer service managers from across the country on what high quality volunteering looks like for our NHS. It was wonderful to witness such energy and enthusiasm for shaping the future of volunteering and increasing the positive impact on patients and NHS staff.”

To learn more about the Helpforce Network, please visit