Volunteers working with the NHS in Sheffield are being celebrated this Volunteers’ Week for the amazing contributions they have made throughout the pandemic.

More than 30 people have come forward to Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) during the pandemic, bringing the total number to around 100 volunteers who are currently offering their support.

The volunteers do a huge variety of roles. This can be anything from helping with activities for people in dementia nursing homes, supporting gardening in the grounds of SHSC sites, painting the nails of people on acute mental health wards or simply being with somebody and talking to them.

Sue Williams volunteers at Woodland View, a nursing home for people with dementia where her husband is a resident.

Sue said: “For myself it fills a massive void after caring for my husband 24/7 for many years. I get to see him in his new home whilst doing my volunteering.

“I feel I give something back into a service which is so close to my heart. I get to know the staff and feel I have still some skills to give as both a volunteer and a relative. I love spending time with the other residents and hope I have empathy because of my experience of caring for my husband.

“I had worked as a support worker for the whole of my working life for the NHS. I’m looking forward to seeing other family members as the restrictions lift to hopefully share our experiences and maybe get some new recruits!”

Claire Reed, who is a service user and a volunteer, said: “Since starting volunteering for the Trust I have never found anything so rewarding as giving back to SHSC, which supported me throughout my recovery process.

“Volunteering has given me a new purpose in life and given me the most uplifting sense of worth and that there is a life beyond mental health.

“I have been so inspired by my own recovery that is thanks to the amazing care and support I have had from SHSC that, for me, giving back and showing others there is a light at the end of the tunnel has given me the focus and passion to keep on the right track.”

Mia Bajin, Engagement and Volunteer Manager at SHSC, said: “I am so humbled that I have the privilege of supporting SHSC volunteers. Each volunteer is an individual who has come to volunteering for very different reasons, but there is a beautiful golden thread that connects them all, and that is their astounding commitment, loyalty and kindness that never fails to amaze me.

“This year has been extremely hard for everyone and some of our volunteers have been unable to continue volunteering due to their own vulnerable health.

“Now though, we’re looking forward and we have many new requests from people who would like to offer their expertise and unique skills to help improve the patient experience.

“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for your continued support and kindness you bestow on our service users and services.”

SHSC is looking for volunteers to come forward in July. You can find out more at www.shsc.nhs.uk/get-involved/volunteering