Helpforce Champions 2023 Finalist - West Herts NHS Teaching Hospitals
9th October 2023
Nominated for Impact Project of the Year 2023
Teen & Young People Volunteer Programme West Herts NHS Teaching Hospitals
There are several TYP volunteers who act as a specialist befriending group connecting 16–25-year-olds with patients of the same age when they are on hospital wards.
The Teen & Young People Programme at West Herts NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust was initiated to increase the number of young people volunteering across three hospitals and has enabled them to gain employment skills and work opportunities at a time when the pandemic meant that such opportunities were few and far between.
In many cases, experience with the trust helped volunteers decide on a career in the medical profession with 60 volunteers choosing to study medicine or paramedic science and gaining a place at their chosen university.
The young volunteers made new friends, broadened their knowledge, developed their teamwork and grew their social and communication skills. They all completed a ‘we can talk’ training course, giving a valuable insight into and understanding of mental health.
During their 3-hour shifts the youth volunteers carried out a range of tasks including befriending patients (across all age groups), restocking linen areas, mealtime support, carrying out tea rounds, playing card games/chess with patients, offering administrative support and helping distribute Christmas gifts for patients. This was reflected when 30 past youth volunteers, now at university, returned to help.
As a result of the work young volunteers completed an impressive 17,325 hours - over four times the initial target. The trust, the trust volunteer service as well as "Raise" the hospital charity, is incredibly proud of the Teen & Young People service.