Paisley Daily Express
Thank you for putting hospital patients first
Health bosses praise‘Give and Go’ volunteers at RAH
Volunteers at the Royal Alexandra Hospital who helped make sure patients received their home comforts during the pandemic have been thanked by health board bosses.
Known around the Paisley hospital for their bright red t-shirts, they have delivered thousands of care packages to patients throughout the pandemic.
The members of the Give and Go service disbanded last month after working round the clock for months during the covid pandemic while visitors were not allowed in the hospital.
Now as part of Volunteer Week, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is thanking the hundreds of volunteers across the health board are who gave up their time to help.
In total, more than 300 volunteers worked in the Give and Go service, each week delivering upwards of 3,000 personal bags to patients, supplying items such as toiletries, snacks, mobile phones and iPads, books and clothing.
In the RAH, there were a total of 38 volunteers, including Adrian Walaszek who helped distribute donations coming into the hospital from the public through the RAH Covid Patients’ Appeal.
He said: “My main role wa to unpack the donations, sort and distribute them to the wards across the hospital.
“The thing I am particularly proud of is having the opportunity to help.”
Chiara Galimbert also volunteered at the RAH. Chiara is from Italy and wanted to find a way of saying her personal thanks to Scottish people for their hospitality by volunteering during Covid-19.
She said: “I am volunteering because I am Italian and I am really concerned about the situation in my home country and I wanted to help. I wanted to find a way to thank Scottish people for their hospitality.”
Many of them were already volunteers within the health board and moved to Give and Go when the service was set up.
When the service came to an end last month, many of the volunteers went back to their previous roles, with others starting new roles to support NHSGGC’s return to a new normal.
Harry Balch, volunteer manager with NHSGGC, who is based at Dykebar Hospital, said those who signed up to be part of the service had become a “much-loved part of the NHSGGC family”.
He said: “Give and Go was a wonderful service to be involved with. These amazing people put themselves on the front line to deliver this vital service, and their selflessness has been such an inspiration to us all.
“But beyond Give and Go, our volunteers are a critical and muchloved part of the NHSGGC family.
“During Volunteers Week, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank every single one of them. Without their hard work, their good humour and their positive outlook, life for everyone in all our hospitals just wouldn’t be the same.”
Margaret Connolly, assistant chief nurse at NHSGGC, who helped roll out the initiative across Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added: “Give and Go played a crucial role in helping us continue to deliver person-centred, compassionate care to patients in the midst of the pandemic. The feedback was wonderful, and it brought a smile to thousands of patients in hospital.
“I hope the work they did, and the way they helped us to delivered person- centred care across our sites, will help us to shape volunteering across NHSGGC for years to come.
“We can’t thank them enough for all their efforts. I and so many of my colleagues will never forget them.”
Give and Go played a crucial role in helping us continue to deliver compassionate care to patients