The Engage Programme at Salisbury District Hospital has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The award recognises excellence in voluntary activities and the outstanding contribution they have made to supporting older patients in hospital.
The Engage programme, which is funded by the Stars Appeal, uses trained volunteers who provide support for patients during their hospital stay. They visit different wards and sit with patients, talking to them and using techniques such as behavioural and reminiscence therapies, discussion groups and memory games that help keep them motivated.
Sir Martyn Lewis, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair and former broadcast journalist said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”
Antoinette Broomfield, Engage Coordinator said: “We are enormously grateful for this award which reflects the enormous contribution of our 60 Engage volunteers. They do a remarkable job and have seen around 8,000 patients over the last two years. We know that older people can often lose independence when they come into hospital and develop psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Their work can make a real difference to our patients, improving levels of depression, anxiety and their length of stay in hospital.”
Peter Hill, Chief Executive at Salisbury District Hospital said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our engage volunteers and highlights the tremendous commitment and innovation of our staff within the clinical psychology department who developed this successful programme which has had such a major impact on the wellbeing of our patients and generated such interest and appreciation from our local community.”
The team will receive a signed certificate from Her Majesty The Queen which will be presented locally by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.
The Engage team is looking to expand its service and welcomes new volunteers. Anyone interested can attend the next training and recruitment day on June 22, from 9am to 1:30pm. They can register their interest by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively they can email Antoinette Broomfield direct at Antoinette.Broomfield@salisbury.nhs.uk, if they would like to arrange a meeting.