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Volunteers' Week 2022

Volunteers’ Week, which ran from the 1 to 7 June, is an annual celebration to mark the contribution that millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. 

Volunteers Week 1Hosted by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the week is embraced by the partnership as a chance to acknowledge our numerous volunteers.  

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH) thanked its volunteer group with a series of features during the week. 

Sue Gilder [featured in the picture, third from the left] has volunteered at the Trust for 32 years. She said:  

It’s a tremendous privilege to volunteer for the Chaplaincy. I began volunteering after I became very ill and had to give up my job. Two opportunities opened up to me: one in a church as an Anglican Church Reader; and the other one here at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH). I started on 1 October 1990. 

She added:  

It’s a privilege to help patients and walk a little part of their journey. I am so grateful to volunteer with a great team. I always look forward to 7.40am on a Tuesday and Friday when I know I am leaving the house to come and volunteer. 

Volunteers Week 3.jpgDavid [pictured] started volunteering at the PRUH in May 2022 as wanted to give something back having previously been a patient. He was taken ill in July 2021 and spent many weeks in hospital receiving care. 

He is now happy to be assisting staff and patients in the Medical Ambulatory Day Unit, and what he describes as the “truly inspiring” team. David says he is “enjoying the experience immensely” and is proud to be supporting the unit. 

To find out how to volunteer with KCH, click here.  

Volunteers Week 4.jpg

Staff, students, and alumni at King’s College London (KCL) volunteer throughout the year, with the culmination the King’s Global Day of Service on 25 March. This year KCL celebrated having 575 volunteers contributing more than 2,900 hours across 32 countries, with an economic impact of £27,500.   

Volunteers Week 5Dr Anna Rebmann [in the picture, far right], a Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at King’s Business School, volunteers with two community organisations that work to preserve natural spaces in London: Dream for Trees; and Friends of Grove Farm, which she founded with her partner.   

She says:  

Friends of Grove Farm is particularly important to me because I feel if we didn’t exist and act to protect and care for the nature reserve and green space surrounding it we are in danger of losing it.  
It has been an amazing way to build up connections with the local community and meet inspiring people who want to make the world a better place each in their own way. I also feel like I am doing my little bit to support nature in my local area and it is my small contribution to helping tackle the biodiversity and climate crises.

Volunteers Week 6Rosanna McNamara [on the far right in the picture], a KCL alum (MA Christianity and the Arts, 2015) and Student Engagement Officer (Lifecycle), ran embroidery workshops to mark King’s Global Day of Service and Transgender Day of Visibility.

The group created patches for Mermaids, a leading LGBTQ+ charity that supports trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people. 

She said:  

I love teaching embroidery and knowing that the sessions would have a charitable cause, for an organisation that means a lot to me, I jumped at the chance to take part. 

She added:  

Embroidery is a fairly cheap and accessible craft, and I find it meditative and great for my mental wellbeing. Through teaching, I hope to pass on the skills I learnt and share the joys and benefits of being creative. I am slowly forming an army of embroiderers!

KCL has launched a new platform to help students and staff discover volunteering opportunities with charities and community organisations. To find out more, click here

Over at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Clara volunteers at the Bethlem Museum, which she describes as “very rewarding”. 

Volunteers Week 7

She adds:  

It is a safe space to learn about mental health and the history of the treatment of mental illness. Learning about the past can help us to reflect on the present and can ensure we have important discussions about how we want the future of mental health treatment to evolve.

For David Lyon, a volunteer at Peckham Befrienders, his role offers a chance to help people face-to-face.  

Volunteers Week 8

He said:  

I interact with people, I listen to people’s stories, I ask them how their day’s been, how their week’s been, and try to encourage them to do things, be active.  

He adds: 

What happens when people are very low, you help to lift them up. In sharing my experiences with others, showing them that they’re not alone – I’ve been there.  

To find out more about volunteering for SLaM, click here.