Runnymede

South East Regional Winner_NHS_Award

Vaccination service up for national NHS Parliamentary Award after regional title win

The Surrey Heath Covid-19 vaccination service has been named the South East regional winner of the 2022 NHS Parliamentary Awards and is now a finalist for the national title. The award recognises the way different organisations came together to support their community in response to Covid.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards were launched to mark the NHS’ 70th birthday in 2018 and are held annually to recognise the outstanding contribution of staff, volunteers and others working in the health and care sector. Applicants are recommended to Members of Parliament who then nominate one from their constituency. The vaccination service for people within Surrey Heath was nominated by Michael Gove, MP for Surrey Heath and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

In Surrey Heath GP practices worked together with the NHS, the voluntary sector and borough and county councils to create a caring, efficient, responsive, high-performing vaccination services. By pooling resources and skills, the vaccination team and the broader support operation has been able to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure as many people as possible could be reached and supported in the face of the pandemic. As well as providing the mainstream Covid-19 vaccinations, there were special considerations provided to support those with extra needs.

As well as the mainstream vaccination service, arrangements have been made for carers, older people and those with vulnerabilities and disabilities – with information provided to support them specifically. Wheelchairs have been made available and Surrey Heath Borough Council has laid on free transport for people to be able to attend. Outreach clinics have also been held for the Gypsy, Roma and traveller community, as well as homeless people, and additional support has been provided to increase vaccination in minority ethnic communities and for those in vulnerable groups.

Dr Mark Pugsley, local GP and Accountable Clinical Director of Surrey Heath Primary Care Network, said: “From the first days of preparing for the local rollout of the vaccination programme, we have seen some amazing commitment, selflessness and generosity from across our collective team. The Surrey Heath vaccination programme is the work of several organisations and lots of individuals all coming together to support a common goal and it’s remarkable to think of all that we’ve been able to achieve for the good of our residents, in such a short space of time.”

Solette Sheppardson, CEO at Voluntary Support North Surrey, said: “‘This is an excellent example of team work at its best, with everyone coming together at speed in a challenging situation. Many hundreds of volunteers have contributed to this success and it’s great to be able to demonstrate what has been achieved collectively."

The partnership working that has enabled the successful vaccination programme has also built and strengthened relationships between the different groups involved, and organisers are hoping they can use these links to provide further health and wellbeing benefits to the local population in the future.

Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is encouraged to either book an appointment or visit a walk-in service as soon as possible if they are eligible. More information can be found here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/

Loneliness Awareness Week 2022

Tackling loneliness through volunteering

It is Loneliness Awareness Week, created and hosted by The Marmalade Trust. Loneliness is a normal feeling, with one in five people in the UK feeling lonely.

Evidence shows that loneliness can affect people’s mental and physical health. People are naturally social; feeling connected with, and giving to, others is a key factor of our emotional well-being.

The best way to combat loneliness is to talk with someone and volunteering is a great way to do this. We know that volunteering gives people a sense of community and that volunteers experience a physiological response to doing good. Meeting others and being part of a team all help increase people’s sense of well-being.

There are a number of local organisations that are in need of befrienders and other support roles which aim to support people who may feel lonely. Our own Time to Talk service in Surrey Heath has volunteer befrienders who are matched with people in the local community.

If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering, take a look at the volunteering opportunities on our website or call us on 01932 571122.

If you’re feeling lonely, the NHS Every Mind Matters and Healthy Surrey websites both have useful tips and information.

Drop In service (2)

New drop-in sessions for Ukrainians and their hosts

Voluntary Support North Surrey (VSNS) has launched a new service for Ukrainian refugees and their host families, in partnership with Runnymede Borough Council. The weekly drop-in is held every Tuesday from 12.30pm until 2pm at Revive Coffee Shop, 99 Guildford Street, in Chertsey.

The drop-in gives people an opportunity to get together in a relaxed environment, where they can meet others and share stories, information and support.

At the sessions, VSNS will also get a steer from those attending about what the most pressing needs are for both hosts and their guests, with the aim of working with local services to provide services that meet those needs.

Solette Sheppardson, VSNS CEO, explained, “We know that people are keen to meet fellow Ukrainians but also need assistance as they begin to settle in to living in Surrey, including help with speaking English and getting ready to work. We have developed the drop-in to provide a place for people to meet but also as a way to support them to reach other services. We are keen to hear from local organisations that are supporting refugees so that we can signpost people to their services.

“So far, we have welcomed twelve Ukrainian families and individuals to these sessions and have already put other local hosts in touch.”

Organisations supporting refugees are asked to contact Jo Buckell at VSNS by calling 01932 571122 or emailing jo@voluntarysupport.org.uk

Volunteers' Week is from 1st to 7th June

Volunteers’ Week is fast approaching and this year it risks getting a little lost among all the Jubilee celebrations. It’s well worth putting some thought into how best to say thank you and showing volunteers how much they mean.  We all know volunteers aren’t doing it for the recognition, but a little thank you goes a long way in showing how much they are appreciated.

The Volunteers' Week website is a good starting point for ideas, but here at Voluntary Support North Surrey, we’ve also been thinking about how best to show your appreciation. Here are a few ideas that we hope may give you some inspiration as you plan your own ways to thank volunteers:

  1. Make it personal

Rather than sending a bulk email to all volunteers with a generic message of thanks, try to make things as personal as possible – giving recognition for what they have achieved. If you’re sending a card or a certificate to them, maybe mention the number of hours or shifts they have worked over the past year, or the personal relationships they have built with service users – something that reflects what they personally have brought to your organisation.

  1. Keep it green

Everyone loves to keep things as planet-friendly as possible.  How about planting some seeds in empty toilet rolls and giving volunteers a home-grown tomato plant that is all ready to transplant into their own garden? or a houseplant they can enjoy? We love these personalised seed packets from Etsy if you do have a little budget to burn - but we’re sure you could make something similar for free - 10 Thank You Flowers Personalised Seed Packets | Etsy UK

  1. Shout about the difference they have made

Often volunteers are making a huge difference to individuals, but they may be the last ones to hear about it. If you’ve had some wonderful feedback from your service users, make that the centrepiece of any thanks you share with your volunteers, and think about sharing this on social media too.

  1. Make it fun

Volunteering can be a serious business, but this offers a great opportunity for some fun too. Maybe it’s a chance to create a light-hearted thank you video. Here’s some inspiration from our friends across the pond - https://youtu.be/eCSvXMTe1oY

  1. It’s all in the presentation

You don’t need a big budget to show your thanks. Some careful preparation and something homemade such as a simple paper bag with a handwritten gift tag and some thoughtful words is all you need.  For some ideas on wording or small gifts, look here - https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/280630620521058262/

  1. Partner with local businesses

Are there local businesses that might be willing to offer a small thank you gift for free? Perhaps a local coffee shop is willing to give a free coffee or cake to your volunteers on their next visit, or maybe a sports centre will offer them a free gym session. It is worth looking in your area to see if there could be a willing donor (it might help to raise your organisation’s profile too!).

We’d love to hear about how you plan to thank your volunteers this year and what works well for you. Email us with your volunteer week plans.

 

Hersham hound Feb22

Salesforce help walk the retired dogs at Hersham Hounds

Salesforce volunteer on a regular basis at Hersham Hounds walking the dogs to help socialise them and prepare them for their forever homes as part of their amazing continuous Corporate Social Responsibility. Hersham Hounds are a charity who rely totally on donations to promote careful and responsible rehoming of Greyhounds
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