Volunteers' Week celebrated across the Northern Care Alliance

11 June 2021

Northern Care Alliance (NCA) volunteers make the world of difference in terms of the standard of care and experience the organisation can offer patients and service users across all our sites.

That’s why the NCA took the opportunity of Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) to say a tremendous thank you to them for all their dedication.

The week also coincided with further training across NCA sites for volunteers stepping up to become Dining Companions. Dining Companions help within wards and services across the Group, offering invaluable support to ward staff at mealtimes, spending time with, and helping patients as they enjoy their meals. NCA Chief Nurse Libby McManus joined some of the volunteers throughout their training to say hello and thank you as they embarked on their roles.

Shaun Furlong, Volunteers' Site Coordinator and Project Officer, said: “It is very exciting for our Dining Companion Volunteers to be involved in such a worthwhile programme – they all, quite rightly, feel that they can make a real difference to our patients’ general wellbeing, to their hydration and nutrition and also to their mood with a chat and support at mealtimes. There are a lot of smiling faces on the wards."It couldn’t have been possible without the wholehearted support the volunteers have had from ward staff, dietitians and speech and language therapists. Dining Companion volunteers are already making a significant impact and we look forward to rolling the service out to more wards as we recruit and train new Dining Companion Volunteers.”

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Many of our volunteers are also supporting the NCA with its vaccination programme both at hospital vaccine hubs and the Greater Manchester Vaccination Centre. These volunteers are from all walks of life and fulfil a number of roles including acting as marshals, reception desk operators, admin and other key roles.

NCA Chief Executive Raj Jain paid tribute to all the organisation’s volunteers, he said: “The spirit, compassion and the lived experience our volunteers bring to our services and how they support our service users, patients and their families can not be underestimated. What they contribute is more than the activity and tasks they carry out, but how they connect with our patients is untrainable."The skills and what our army of volunteers bring is pure gold dust. We must also recognise the important role our volunteers have made during the pandemic and how they have adapted to provide support in different ways. It’s Volunteers Week this week and so if you see or speak with one of our volunteers, please just take a minute to say thank you.”

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