Salford Care Organisation, part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, is excited to announce that our team of over 100 Dining Companion volunteers have been shortlisted for an NHS Parliamentary Award.
The NHS Parliamentary Awards recognise the outstanding contribution of staff, volunteers and others working in the health and care sector. Working with local MPs, they represent a chance for them to say thank you once again for all the work done to support the NHS in each area.
Our Dining Companions support patients during mealtime by helping those that need extra support to eat and hydrate. They also provide patients with a friendly face and much welcome conversation and friendship.
While our Dining Companions are important to the welfare of our patients, they are also important to our colleagues who work on the patient wards. It may only be for an hour or so a day, but that time is invaluable to our colleagues allowing them to focus their time on other tasks with the knowledge that their patients are in good hands.
Jayne Potter, Dining Companion Service Lead, Salford Care Organisation said,
“I am beyond proud of our volunteers, and they certainly have a positive impact on our patients, but I was surprised to see the level of impact they have on our colleagues. You can almost see a look of relief on their faces when our volunteers walk onto a ward to help with lunch time.”
So far, our Dining Companion volunteers have supported over 6000 patients with their meals and their support has been proven to help improve patient’s hydration, nutrition, and mood.
Kathy, Dining Companion said about her experience,
“When my mum was in hospital in London, I used to notice that when their food was delivered it often a very busy time on the ward and I didn’t want to interfere with the other patients, but I always thought it was a shame we couldn’t help more.
“One day my husband saw an opportunity posted about the Dining Companion service at Salford Royal and encouraged me to go for it. I used to work for the BBC, which was an exciting job, but I can honestly say I feel just as much pride and excitement when I come in for my volunteer shift as I did when I was going into work back then.”
Janet Hegarty, Interim Medical Director, Salford Care Organisation said,
“We are so proud of what our volunteers do at Salford Care Organisation, they are a hugely valued part of the NHS team here and I am delighted their hard work has now been recognised by successfully being shortlisted for the NHS Parliamentary Awards. We want them to go from strength to strength as they truly do help make a difference every day with our patients and families.”
The national awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 5 July, at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London. Good luck to all our Dining Companion volunteers!