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Thank you to our loyal volunteers

18 December 2012


Sandwiches, mince pies and a whole lot of gratitude were on the menu at Christmas celebration for volunteers at Southend Hospital.

Hospital chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell paid tribute to the legions of these unpaid helpers who provide such sterling support to staff, patients and their families.

"You are all incredible, each and every one of you," she told the packed reception. "The help you give the hospital is priceless."

Mrs Totterdell also gave a special award of 'Volunteer Hospital Hero' Award to Jack Callaway, a popular volunteer of 20 years' standing.

Known as the 'eyes and ears' of the hospital, the outgoing grandfather-of-four has been unwell recently, but is hoping to return to his role on the hospital's information desk at the old main entrance in the new year.

Jack, who lives in Southend, was presented with a specially engraved pen set, a certificate … and a box of his favourite Turkish Delight. 

The hospital has around 450 volunteers, aged from 18 to 80-plus, who help the hospital by:

  • providing an information service for patients and visitors
  • assisting busy ward staff
  • 'meeting and greeting' visitors to the hospital and guiding them to their destination
  • continuous fundraising for hospital appeals, the latest being the Bosom Pals Appeal On The Road
  • providing patient transport, not only for outpatient clinics but also for the renal unit, day assessment unit, chemotherapy and radiotherapy departments
  • chaplaincy support
  • providing a new 'meet and greet' service at the maternity unit
  • helping to encourage elderly patients to eat up at mealtimes as part of the Feeding Buddies scheme
  • support group for cancer patients - Headstrong
  • support to patient tracker system, which collects patient feedback on the hospital
  • supporting our 'Hospital in Bloom' project, a scheme to enhance the hospital environment by creating new flower beds, plus renovating existing garden areas

Visit our volunteering page for more information on how you can get involved.