Patzy Dalby – Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

1st July 2020

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Patzy is a pioneer! She is the first Young Volunteer (16-25) co-ordinator in the Trust and she is a powerhouse. With a remit to increase the number of young volunteers and to raise their profile and impact, Patzy has made significant changes. Prior to her appointment there were five young volunteers; with her help we have increased this to 68, which represents 12% of our total volunteers.

She has introduced three new volunteer roles which are 87% fulfilled by young volunteers – dementia support volunteers, mealtime companions, and patient experience volunteers. She has also re-launched the emergency department volunteers. These roles are supported by bespoke training developed by Patzy in conjunction with our Learning and Development team. Patzy has introduced volunteer mentors to support young volunteers in their role. Systematic evaluation of the impact of young volunteers is key, and Patzy has worked with the executive team to introduce metrics to measure this.

There was some initial resistance to the introduction of young volunteers; however, with more young volunteers interacting with staff, patients and the public, Patzy has succeeded in changing attitudes. She organises events including student talks with senior staff, and arranges college presentations. Our young volunteers tell us they find volunteering rewarding, that it builds their confidence and self-esteem, and is a positive step on their career path. Patzy is an inspiration, whom we would love to be recognised nationally.