Volunteer Manager praises the skills volunteers bring to the NHS

6th January 2020

Mandy Cleaver, from the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust who leads the team who manage 425 volunteers across the county and won Helpforce Volunteer Leader of the year 2018, says:

The other week I saw a patient deep in conversation with a grey-haired man beside her. They could have been long-term friends – but in fact this was Colin McFarlin in action, a Daily Mail volunteer. At 72, Colin is making a massive difference to patients who might be scared and isolated on the wards. His good-humoured company also allows busy nursing staff to concentrate on their clinical duties. In the past months, Daily Mail volunteers like Colin have helped support our staff who care for 8,000 clients a day across Sussex.

The quality of the Daily Mail volunteers has exceeded our expectations: many have come from senior positions, with public-facing roles, from company directors to teachers and hairdressers. Their experience and skill sets are vital, and thanks to their successes, we’re advertising for another 80 volunteers in Sussex because they’re making such a difference. It works both ways: one ward sister recently said to me: ‘I think the volunteers get as much satisfaction from their visits as the patients. I have seen them flourish and gain confidence, whether they are sixth formers or retirees.’ Success all round.

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