Volunteering during Covid-19

Thank you to our amazing volunteers - could you join them?

More than 20 people from across Leeds and West Yorkshire have been giving their time freely to provide incredible support to mental health and learning disability staff and their service users during the Coronavirus pandemic.

From helping to distribute PPE to making supermarket trips for our service users during lockdown, a dedicated team of volunteers have given up their time to support our Trust and the people we care for, and we’re now looking for more like-minded people to join the team.

Andrea Wardle, 44, from Meanwood (right in the picture) is currently volunteering on one of our inpatient wards. Her role is varied, and involves everything from helping service users to fill out menus, to being a listening ear and assisting with PPE and laundry.

Andrea said: “I was volunteering for the Trust before the Covid-19 outbreak, but moved to an inpatient ward in May. It was my understanding that the NHS needed help, so I took this role as soon as it came up.

“I did have some apprehensions about volunteering during Covid-19, but my desire to do something good was greater than my fear of the virus. When I’m volunteering I do feel safe.

“I would definitely encourage other people to volunteer. I feel it’s enriched my life and really helped me to grow. It’s helped my confidence and given me new skills that I can use in the future.”

Laura James, 32, from Leeds (left in the picture) volunteered on one of our inpatient wards while on furlough. She helped out with a variety of activities, helped to keep areas clean, replenished PPE and provided support and companionship to service users.

Laura said: “To begin with we all had to get used to the new role and figure out how we could be most useful on the ward. Very quickly we began to develop a daily routine.

“I didn’t realise we’d be able to get so hands on with the activities. It really helped me to understand some of the different roles within a clinical setting and gave me an insight into the amazing work that’s being done in the Trust.

“Everyone on the ward was so patient, encouraging and supportive and really wanted us to make the most of our time there. I loved it.”

In addition to working on the wards, our volunteers have also played an instrumental role in our warehouses, helping with the distribution of PPE.

Phil Hardisty, Deputy Logistics Manager for the Trust, said: “The volunteers that have helped us have been absolutely fantastic.

“Picking PPE in a warehouse isn’t a particularly glamorous job but they came wanting to help and that’s been brilliant. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Can you help?

We’re currently looking for two volunteers to help us champion the safe use of PPE at The Newsam Centre at Seacroft Hospital. They’ll work on what we call the donning and doffing stations and will ensure the safe and correct use of bins and PPE disposal methods. They’ll also be on hand to keep the stock replenished and help with general tidy ups.

If you’d like to find out more, or want to express an interest, we’d love to hear from you. Please email volunteering.lypft@nhs.net.