Royal Voluntary Service has presented NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with a gift of £250,000 at a ceremony at The Merchants House of Glasgow on last month.
The money is a proportion of the profits taken from the eight cafés and shops the charity runs across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s hospitals.
The services at the hospitals give customers much more than a place to buy refreshments and gifts; volunteers provide a friendly face and empathetic ear for patients, staff and those visiting loved ones at the hospital.
The funds gifted to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be used to support its dementia initiatives, create activity boxes for patients and fund new equipment to enhance the patient and visitor experience. The money will also be invested into other projects to benefit patients, visitors and staff across wards in all its hospitals.
The ceremony also saw 38 Royal Voluntary Service volunteers receiving recognition for their long service.
Having accrued more than 400 years between them, award recipients included Wilma McDonald who has been volunteering in the shop and café at West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital – previously the Royal Hospital for Sick Children – for 30 years.
Five, 10, 15, 20 and 30 year medals were presented to the volunteers by Ian Dickson, Lord of Guild at the event.
Royal Voluntary Service also recently marked a significant anniversary, turning 80, with the Merchant’s House event forming part of the charity’s birthday celebrations.
Dorothy McErlean, employee director, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “It’s a pleasure to mark the great achievement of these volunteers and thank them for giving their time to support the work of the Royal Voluntary Service and brighten the days of many of our patients”.
“Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are special people who make a big commitment to serve our staff, patients, and relatives in cafes, shops and trolley services across our hospitals.
“It goes without saying that their dedication deserves our thanks for that commitment and, hopefully, these long service awards go some way in showing our gratitude. The money Royal Voluntary Service has gifted the board through its cafes and trolleys is used to improve the patient and visitor experience across our hospitals and is very welcome.”
There are 284 Royal Voluntary Service volunteers in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals who work in the shop and cafes, do trolley rounds and help visitors at meet and greet desks.
David Thomson, Royal Voluntary Service, retail area manager for Scotland West said: “Our trained volunteers go over and above selling newspaper and refreshments, they provide emotional and practical support to all visitors who might be experiencing a difficult hospital visit or a challenging shift at work. Sometimes all people need is friendly face. Volunteering can be anything from a few hours a day up to a few days every week – we are hugely grateful for all support we receive.”
Wilma McDonald, helped present the cheque to the board and also received her 30 year medal for volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service.
She said: “Volunteering at the hospital gives me so much so much pleasure and satisfaction. I can’t believe I have been here for 30 years. The time goes so quickly, it is always busy. I’ve been very lucky to make so many friends and meet so many interesting people over the last three decades.”
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities, inspiring and enabling people to give the gift of voluntary service to meet the needs of the day. Today, its primary focus is helping older people live healthy and happy lives and supporting the NHS. Its 20,000 volunteers support thousands of people each month at home, in hospitals and in the community. Working across hundreds of hospitals in the community, the charity is one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes, shops and trolley services providing much valued services in hospitals.
Royal Voluntary Service is actively looking for more volunteers to help serve staff, patients and visitors at its NHS Glasgow and Clyde sites. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Caroline Maxwell, West Glasgow service manager on 0141 201 0493 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org