Final discussion group session of 2022

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Created by Debbie Ambrose
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21 December 2022 at 10:06am

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This was the last discussion group of 2022 and as usual there was a varied range of topics discussed.

Wheelchair support and training

  • One Trust is looking at implementing wheelchair volunteers to support their discharge lounge, transport stable patients from one ward to another and take patients who are unable to walk outside for some fresh air or to buy a newspaper. Our group member was interested to find out if others had a similar volunteer role and the training they used.

Dining companions

  • There are a number of variations to this role and training for feeding support can be quite specific. The role may not necessarily need to be around actual feeding and could be more around encouraging them to eat.

  • More information on this topic can be found on our website here and we will be running a webinar on 25 January 2023.

Emergency Department volunteers

  • In some areas ambulances can be waiting up to 7 hours to transfer a patient to ED so volunteers have been supporting with various tasks including the support of patients and crew while they are waiting.

  • The importance of having pharmacy run volunteers fetching a patient's medication was shown recently when this task allowed a bed to be freed up just in time for an ambulance bringing in another patient.

Community support - Warm spaces

  • Voluntary Action North Somerset are helping the council to set up community spaces as warm spaces and include activities so they can tackle isolation issues as well. They want to reach out to people who wouldn’t normally use these spaces and they will also have health and wellbeing information available. Funding has been made available to help organisations and they are also working with community transport providers to see if they can create a shuttle bus service so that people can get to these spaces. This has put pressure on the existing network of volunteers they have but it does seem to have brought back a bit of Covid spirit.

  • This is a really useful website for anyone looking for or wishes to register a warm space. Warm spaces UK

  • Brent Council has partnered with some homeless charities as well as community spaces that are operational during the daytime but vacant in the evenings. These community spaces are now being set up so that they can be a shelter for the homeless providing them with a place to sleep, warm meals, showers and activities. It also provides them with an opportunity to give the homeless/rough sleepers further assistance if they would like it.

Volunteers taking an isolated person out for Christmas lunch

  • Looking for ideas where a volunteer can take an isolated person to get a Christmas lunch? Suggestions included using social media to reach out to the community. There are some very community spirited pubs who would provide this service at a discount. Community infrastructure services may also be able to help.

Celebrating and thanking your volunteers

  • On the day of this discussion one Trust had invited all of their peer support volunteers to a thank you with lunch in the canteen. It’s something they do every year as it is important for the volunteers to get together for their own wellbeing as well as sharing their experiences and good practice.

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