Friends come together to celebrate volunteers at RJAH – League of Friends

Posted on 7 June 2023

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From wonderful Ward Friends to Helpdesk heroes, the League of Friends have celebrated their volunteer family at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH).

The Friends celebration evening, which took place in the Headley Court Orthopaedic Veterans’ Centre at the Oswestry based hospital, returned in full force last week after a hiatus due to the pandemic.

The event coincided with the start of Volunteers’ Week – an annual celebration to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make across the UK.

The celebration saw over 60 volunteers gather as the charity said a well-deserved thank you to members of the voluntary services for their hard work and dedication to RJAH over the past few years.

The evening included a welcome address from Charity Director, Victoria Sugden and League of Friends Vice-Chair, Lady Susan Trevor, along with the presentation of two awards – Volunteer of the Year, and Volunteer Team of the Year.

Victoria said: “Our volunteers provide 12 different services across RJAH and collectively dedicate over 26,000 hours of their time to supporting patients, staff and visitors annually.

“It was an absolute pleasure to recognise the achievements of our treasured volunteers who give their time, energy and enthusiasm to enhancing the experience of those at RJAH.”

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Jayne Vaughan. Jayne joined the organisation last year as a means to rebuild her confidence after a period of ill-health.

Jayne, who volunteers in the Friends Coffee Shop, was nominated by multiple colleagues who praised her for being a true inspiration, going above and beyond and for being an absolute pleasure to work alongside.

Jayne said: “This award means the world to me – about five years ago I had an illness that nearly took my life but through hard work and help from the incredible NHS I managed to get through it.

“Going back to work unfortunately wasn’t an option, so when I moved to Ellesmere from Bolton, my sister, a nurse at RJAH, encouraged me to volunteer – the rest, as they say, is history.”

“Volunteering with the Friends is a two-way street – not only is it my way of saying thank you for the care I received but it’s been a huge help to me personally and I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful, friendly and welcoming team.”

Heather Thomas-Bache, Head of Voluntary Services, said: “Jayne is such a deserving winner – she’s an absolute asset to our charity and it’s been lovely to see her grow in confidence over the past year.”

Volunteer Team of the Year was awarded to the outstanding team of volunteers from Horatio’s Garden.

Horatio’s Garden Midlands opened in 2019 at the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries in RJAH – the garden nurtures the wellbeing of people after spinal injury in beautiful, vibrant sanctuaries within the heart of NHS spinal injury centres.

Sharon Davies-Culham, Garden Administrator, said: “Since the garden opened every single volunteer has worked incredibly hard to make it the beautiful, tranquil and healing place it has become. 

“Each volunteer brings their own skills, talents and empathy making it such a fabulous team to be part of.  We cannot thank them enough for all they do for the garden, the charity and the patients – they truly deserve this award.”

If you are interested in volunteering at RJAH please visit: https://www.friendsrjah.org.uk/volunteer/

Alternatively, you can contact:

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