01 June 2012

Trust shows commitment to volunteers

Volunteers eventAWP staff showed volunteers just how much their contribution is appreciated at a special 'thank you' event.

New and longstanding volunteers from across the Trust got together to share their experiences and mark the start of national Volunteers' Week.

The event in Chippenham featured workshops and a 'rap' poetry performance by Bath volunteer Henry Woods as well as information on the many volunteer roles available in mental health.

Henry, who organises creative poetry workshops at Hillview Lodge, said, "I really wanted to do something creative as a volunteer because that's where my passions lie. I've been a service user at Hillview Lodge and writing and performing really helped me believe in myself, so I know how important it is to show that you can come out the other side."

Acting Chief Executive Paul Miller said the Trust is committed to supporting volunteers.

"I've always found talking to volunteer groups a very humbling experience," he said. "To me, everybody that volunteers is a hero because they choose to put their time and emotion into something when they don't have to. It's our responsibility as a Trust to make sure volunteering is a supported and enjoyable experience."

AWP's Voluntary Service Co-ordinator Paul Smith said, "Volunteers told us how they feel they are putting something positive into the world and making a real difference to their own lives and to other people. It was great to hear how much they get out of it, to be able to take the opportunity to thank them and to be able to show them just how much the Trust appreciates what they do.

"It was great to hear their experiences and their ideas for how we can keep developing opportunities for volunteering."

A huge range of roles are available, from reading to service users to helping in occupational therapy sessions, peer mentoring with the drug and alcohol service or even helping in the hospital shop at Callington Road in Bristol.

Paul is particularly keen to hear from musicians and people interested in helping service users complete monthly feedback surveys but the Trust is always pleased to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in volunteering in any role.

Volunteers can dedicate as much or as little time as they want - some volunteer for a few hours a month while others volunteer several times per week.

For more information about volunteering contact 07825 272344 or email volunteering@awp.nhs.uk.

Click here to go to our Volunteering pages.

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