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Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire has been providing a volunteering brokerage service in partnership with NHFT since 2016.

The service provides management skills, expertise and experience about the recruitment and management of volunteers using the skills that VIN has gained through many years of providing similar services.

A volunteer strategy was drawn up and implemented providing robust procedures and processes to give NHFT assurance that all volunteers have undergone the appropriate checks and training before being placed. Part of this was to produce a protocol for the Trust on Volunteer Management giving the Trust guidance and consistency.

The profile of Voluntary Services has been raised at every opportunity by various communications. The external and internal websites have been updated in conjunction with the Trusts Comms Team providing up to date information about the NHFT’s voluntary services.

In July 2019 the Voluntary Services team achieved the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ accreditation for the Trust which demonstrates the value and commitment NHFT give the volunteers.
In June 2020, the support to NHFT increased as we were awarded the contract to manage Cransley and Cynthia Spencer Hospices voluntary services following the retirement of the long serving volunteer manager.

The team now consists of:
Mandy Woolf – Voluntary Services Manager
Sarah Scott – Volunteer Coordinator
Rebecca Darlington – Volunteer Coordinator (Hospices)
Maureen Bartlett – Volunteer Befriending Service Administrator (Employed by NHFT)

Befriending Service

Early on through the first lockdown we identified a need to support NHFT patients and service users who may be feeling lonely and isolated, this was also an opportunity to utilise some of the volunteers who had been stood down to give them a sense of purpose and to feel like they are helping and making a difference to people’s lives.
So the Volunteer Befriending Service was formed, the service launched in April 2020, it was evident how much this service is needed despite the pandemic.
In addition to the befriending conversations it is a chance to ascertain if further assistance was needed from the NHS Responders programme for support with shopping and/or collecting prescriptions, if so we were able to make a referral to Goodsams.

The Service has now been extended to April 2022 with the Trust’s Senior Exec agreeing to fund the Administrator post with a view to review again at this time.