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Volunteers recognised for their excellence

12 July 2012

A team of British Red Cross volunteers has won an NHS Excellence Award for its contribution towards providing high quality care to local people.

The 12 individuals all volunteer at Ystradgynlais Community Hospital, Powys, where the Red Cross is based.

Volunteers provide a home from hospital service, smoothing the process of settling clients back in to a normal routine after a stay in hospital as well as working to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. Volunteers also provide therapeutic massage and run a transport and escort service.

The team won the ‘Volunteer’ category of the Powys Teaching Health Board Excellence Awards 2012.

Lyn Anne Wright, Red Cross service coordinator, said: “I am so happy for my volunteers and so proud they are getting recognition for what they do.

“We have a great team who stick by each other through thick and thin. The volunteers all really enjoy working on these projects and helping vulnerable people in crisis.”

The service provided in Ystradgynlais started in 1998 and helps hundreds of people every year. 

If a patient needs to go to a district general hospital for appointments, the ward requests Red Cross volunteers to provide an escort service, travelling in the ambulance with the patient to keep them company and providing emotional support.

A transport and escort service is also part of the Red Cross package at Ystradgynlais Community Hospital. Using a Red Cross car, a volunteer driver and escort will collect a patient from their own home and take them to and from their appointment.  

This service was set up with cancer patients in mind but has expanded to include other hospital visits, as Lyn Anne explained: “There are a lot of people in the community having long-term treatment,” she said.

“It is a difficult time for families, so our aim is to help them through this by providing a service that is tailored to their individual needs.”

Therapeutic care is offered to in-patients, including dementia sufferers, on all wards at the community hospital and various other locations in the local community. The service helps individuals in stressful situations and times of personal crisis by promoting a sense of well-being and relaxation through gentle massage.

Trained volunteers also offer this service to dementia patients in their own homes, combining it with a sitting service, which allows the primary carer a few hours of valuable respite.

The award aims to celebrate team successes and individuals who provide high quality care and services to local people.
Volunteer Valmai Caines, from Ystradgynlais, said: “I just love doing what we do; it gives you a purpose in life. It feels wonderful to have been nominated for this award.”

For more information about the Red Cross visit www.redcross.org.uk 

ENDS

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