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King's Lynn hospital thanks its huge army of volunteers

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn is celebrating and thanking its 352 volunteers for all their hard work over the years as part of Volunteers Week 2020.

Across the UK, an estimated 1.7 million people volunteer for health or care services.

The QEH has 352 such people, who regularly donate their time to help patients and staff, ranging from just 16 to an incredible 94-years-old.

Ian Gutteridge (35833266)
Ian Gutteridge (35833266)

In 2019 they donated more than 38,000 hours of time.

The volunteers play an important role in enhancing the patient experience and work across 56 departments in the hospital.

They carry out a variety of tasks including assisting the admin teams, serving drinks and snacks to patients, transporting notes and prescriptions around the building.

Professor Steve Barnett, chairman of the hospital, said: “I just want to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who work in the hospital.

“In short, without the work that they do, their commitment, their care, their compassion, we simply would not be able to run this hospital, and provide the range of services to the patients that we do.

“You’re all absolutely wonderful, you’re an inspirational group and I’m so grateful for all that you do.”

Ian Gutteridge, from South Wootton, has been volunteering for the Trust since April 2019, after taking early retirement from work.

Mr Gutteridge, 63, chairs the patient participation group at St James and decided that becoming a volunteer would give him the opportunity to give something back to the community.

Ian volunteers one day every week and spends most of his time working as an administrator in the voluntary services office.

He also frequently does the afternoon sample run, delivering laboratory samples to the Norfolk and Norwich and Addenbrookes hospitals.

Once he even delivered a sample all the way to Colindale testing centre, a 200-mile round trip.

Mr Gutteridge's volunteer driving has saved the Trust more than £17,000 in 2019 as all of the journeys he made would have otherwise been carried out by a taxi driver, paid for by the hospital.

Paul Holley-Smith, voluntary services manager at the QEH, said: "We have some of the most dedicated volunteers who last year gave over 38,000 hours of their own time to help our patients and staff.

"I am extremely grateful and humbled by their commitment and want to say a big thank you to every last one."

If you or somebody you know is interested in becoming a volunteer, please click here to visit our webpage where you can find information including a link to our online volunteer magazine.

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