Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is the first NHS trust in the North East to achieve the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard. The hospital was applauded in a recent article in The Guardian for its pilot volunteer programme that seeks to increase the number of volunteers to reduce stress and pressure levels faced by paid staff, without replacing them. Lynne McCormack, who lead the IiV assessment process, sums it up as “excellent from start to finish”.
“The most important changes in our organisation as a result of the liV assessment will be offering younger volunteers the opportunity to volunteer for an organisation who has achieved the standard, which in turn will set the student in good stead when applying for a place at university. Hopefully this award will also attract more volunteers to our organisation.”
Lynn reiterates that staff members feel supported by the volunteers, so they welcomed the news of their IiV achievement in October. Their volunteers, trustees and service users are excited as well: “I would advise anyone to go for this standard”.
The process itself went more smoothly than expected: “we thought we would have challenges getting everyone together on certain days to meet the assessor but everyone turned up for their time slot. We found the paperwork easy to follow and working with the assessor was excellent. It was well worth the time and effort.”