Awards have been given to volunteers at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) who contributed a combined 36 years of vital service supporting mental health, learning disability and autism services across Lincolnshire.
The seven volunteers were presented with their Long Service Awards at a socially distanced event and later acknowledged at the Trust’s virtual Annual Public Meeting 2020. Each volunteer contributes to varied services across the Trust, as a helping hand to people with mental health problems.
Carol Grainger and her Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog Lincoln have both volunteered with LPFT for six years on the Trust’s older adult wards. Carol and Lincoln’s story serves to show the impact the pair have made in donating their time to the Trust. Carol said:
“On one of the wards Lincoln and I volunteer at, we had a gentleman who was very ill and didn’t want to talk to anyone or eat. This man sat with his head in his hands, and he had really given up on himself.
“Lincoln is always so excited to go to the unit, he loves his work. One day when we went to the ward to visit this man beckoned Lincoln for a cuddle, took him into his arms and spoke to him.
“I pulled up another chair, and sat with them both. The man couldn’t stop smiling, and before too long he started to talk to me. He told me he had been a breeder of German Shepherd dogs, he had shown at Crufts and all over the country, and we spoke at length about this.
“It was a breakthrough. Lincoln had a real impact on him. He ultimately got well enough to be discharged from the unit and go back home.”
All of the volunteers recognised contribute to services across the Trust in a wide variety of ways, including as elected Governors on the Trust’s Council of Governors, which is also a voluntary role.
Paul Devlin, Trust Chair said:
“Our volunteers make a fantastic contribution to the wellbeing of patients and their carers, and their vital input cannot be underestimated.
“Our volunteers play a part in aiding every aspect of patients’ recovery, making a difference by offering support, skills, kindness, care, and above all a friendly face and helping hand at all times.
“Whether people give a little of their time or a lot, the contribution of our volunteers is something worth celebrating.”
Anyone interested in volunteering with local mental health and learning disability services can find out more at www.lpft.nhs.uk/volunteering