Helpforce Champions 2023 Winner - Amanda Winwood
3rd October 2023
WINNER for Outstanding Staff Champion of the Year 2023
Amanda has only been in post for 1 year and has already achieved so much. Her kind and caring persona reflects the passion that she has for her work of going above and beyond for the patients and volunteers at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. Amanda has truly shown how much she champions volunteers, and the development of the volunteer programme at the trust.
As Charity Development Manager, Amanda has a passion for providing support and funding for worthwhile and impactful initiatives and projects for the trust, with the enthusiasm to match!
Her spirit and values for volunteers is very apparent in the way she inspires charity fundraising volunteers and provides support to the volunteering team and their clinical volunteers.
Projects such as the Staff Well-being Hub opened because Amanda saw the impact that the cost-of-living crisis had on staff working at the hospital and decided to make this an exciting new volunteering opportunity for their team. The Hub is run daily by volunteers who provide access to a food bank and serve free breakfast and hot drinks to staff most in need. This reflects that volunteering is not only front line but also ranges far and wide around the hospital. Due to the amazing work Amanda put into this, the Hub opened in December 2022 and volunteers have already supported 2,430 staff to access the free breakfasts and a further 2,200 staff to access the food hub. Amanda shows her gratitude for the volunteers who help run this vital service by visiting the Wellbeing Hub every day to say hello and invests her time to get to know each volunteer and build a working relationship with them.
The Hub has also been recognised by the trust and has been awarded the ‘Healthcare Heroes: Non-Clinical Team of The Year’ at our annual Royal Awards, where Amanda invited one of the Staff Wellbeing Hub’s dedicated volunteers, Philip Weaver, to attend to represent the team. The hub wouldn’t have opened without Amanda and her drive and enthusiasm for supporting others.
“Amanda is very friendly and helpful and is always cheerful. Amanda comes up to see us on the Hub often and this makes me feel well supported and appreciated.”
Most recently in support of the King’s Coronation, Amanda worked alongside the Volunteering Team to host an event in celebration of the volunteers and the service they provide. On Friday 5th May, volunteers were invited to RWT’s Big Help Out event which included an awards ceremony to celebrate and thank volunteers for the amazing work they do.
Amanda guided her team to ensure that the volunteers had the best celebration by designing posters to promote the event across the trust, and specially designed certificates and coronation pin badges to award the volunteers.
Amanda arranged it that volunteers were awarded a certificate and coronation badge from the chief executive and chairman of the trust and that the Deputy Lieutenant, Martin Levermore, was also in attendance which made the event extra special! Due to her professionalism and fantastic relationship building, Lieutenant Martin Levermore surprised us with an extraordinary speech that included a message of thanks personally sent from His Majesty the King to the volunteers. The event included external stakeholders who also attended, i.e., live DJ and stall such as the Body Shop, perfume, flowers and gardening, a raffle. It was a day enjoyed by all. The event was a huge success and helped to raise the profile of the amazing volunteers which will hopefully inspire other staff, and departments, to invest in volunteer support, ultimately developing and expanding volunteer opportunities and the wider programme.
The charity team has recently appointed an Arts and Heritage Coordinator who, with the support of Amanda, has been working with the volunteer team to re-launch their Arts in Health programme. A programme focussed on low level arts and crafts activities that encourages patient interaction and engagement and aids the recovery of patients at the trust's West Park Rehabilitation Hospital. Patients here are recovering from neurological trauma, spinal damage, road traffic accidents, strokes etc. and therefore, arts and crafts is a great source of stimulation. Amanda supported the project by providing the funds that sourced the resources required to sustain different craft activities.
The Arts in Health programme is a project RWT aim to scale up and expand into their two other hospitals, Cannock Chase and New Cross Hospital.
"Thanks to Amanda’s support with the development of the Arts in Health programme, our volunteer Lucy Hopkins, who has cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, can combine her love of art, and her passion for helping others, in her new volunteer role with us!"