Ro­tary talk call for more vol­un­teers

The Oban Times - - News -

FROM pour­ing tea to singing songs, vol­un­teers are be­ing sought to help to pre­vent pa­tients feeling iso­lated in Lochaber.

Ian McCon­nell, vol­un­teer ser­vices man­ager with NHS High­land, was the guest speaker at the Ro­tary Club of Lochaber’s lunch meet­ing on April 26.

Mr McCon­nell told mem­bers about the op­por­tu­ni­ties for vol­un­teer­ing in Lochaber – in­clud­ing In­vernevis Care Home and the Belford Hos­pi­tal.

The vol­un­teer­ing ser­vice has been run­ning for five years and Mr McCon­nell has held this post since 2013. He ex­plained that staff at NHS High­land were im­mensely grate­ful for the pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion made by vol­un­teers and recog­nised the valu­able role they play.

There are a wide range of sup­port tasks open to vol­un­teers in­clud­ing prac­ti­cal tasks such as the tea trol­ley ser­vice, help at meal times, and emo­tional sup­port such as spend­ing time at a pa­tients’ bed­side, pro­vid­ing com­pan­ion­ship and pre­vent­ing iso­la­tion and lone­li­ness.

Mr McCon­nell said: ‘ Vol­un­teers can un­der­take a num­ber of dif­fer­ent roles across NHS High­land, com­ple­ment­ing the work of paid staff. There is al­ready a great tra­di­tion of vol­un­tary ac­tiv­ity across NHS High­land and we hope to raise aware­ness of these vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Lochaber. We are also keen to re­cruit mu­si­cians who can of­fer around 30- 45 min­utes once a week for sin­ga­longs.

‘Most of our vol­un­teers of­fer one or two hours of their time per week. Their sup­port can make a ‘mas­sive’ dif­fer­ence to the pa­tients.’

Past pres­i­dent John Goodall, re­tired con­sul­tant physi­cian at the Belford thanked Mr McCon­nell for his ex­cel­lent talk and added: ‘We’ll do all we can to spread the word.’

John Goodall with Ian McCon­nell, Paula Ross and Mar­garet Boyd at the Ro­tary Club of Lochaber’s lunch meet­ing.

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