Recognising the valuable contribution volunteers make to healthcare in Cornwall.

There are currently over one hundred and thirty volunteers that give up their time to support the services of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and last year over 8600 hours of volunteering took place within the Trust.

Recognising the valuable contribution volunteers make to healthcare in Cornwall.

Volunteers bring a variety of skills and knowledge that contribute to enhancing patient care and visitor experience. 

Many volunteers offer different activities that range from exercise classes to knitting, from visiting with pets, for example Pets as Therapy Dogs, to providing a spiritual and pastoral service.  Volunteers also meet and greet the many patients and visitors to the county’s Community Hospitals on a daily basis.

Joe Corcoran was one of these volunteers; his commitment to volunteering has made a significant contribution to enhancing the well-being of the patients at Bodmin Hospital.

Now living in Bedfordshire, Joe works as a Public Health Nutritionist for the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

Joe volunteered for a year and was based at Fettle House, a Mental Health Unit at the Bodmin Hospital site. During this time he quickly put his Degree in Nutrition and knowledge of health and fitness to good use by setting up dietary advice and fitness sessions for patients.

In addition, Joe also organised a cooking group that involved patients learning about healthy ingredients, then preparing and cooking their food.

Asked why he became a volunteer Joe said, “I wanted to give something back and make a contribution by using my knowledge to help local people.  The whole experience has been very rewarding; I thoroughly enjoyed building relationships and encouraging patients and staff to lead healthier lifestyles.”

“Seeing everyone’s enthusiasm and commitment has made it all worthwhile. I would recommend everybody to seriously consider becoming a volunteer.”

When asked if he would ever consider becoming a volunteer again, Joe responded with a resounding ‘definitely,’ adding I would recommend volunteering to anyone. It is so rewarding and appreciated by patients and staff alike, it can also open up so many different opportunities.

Joe added “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine Pascoe the Volunteer Manager and her Administrative Assistant, Nikki Whittle for making my volunteering experience at the Trust such a worry free and enjoyable one. It is a testament to the work that Christine and Nikki do that has enabled me to feel more prepared and confident going into my first position in my professional career.

Christine Pascoe, Volunteer Manager at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said “Joe ran both a fitness group and a nutritional cooking group and both were very well attended.”

“Joe helped the patients understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, he made the sessions fun, he was very popular and was able to motivate patients. Joe’s legacy continues to this day, as staff, wanting to continue where Joe left off, still run exercise groups and a supper club.”

Christine added; “The opportunities for volunteering at the Trust are expanding, and we are always interested in recruiting new volunteers.  It is always a pleasure to meet so many people who are keen to give their time to support patients, visitors and staff.”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer at the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust please contact Christine Pascoe, Volunteer Manager, Volunteers in Partnership.

Tel: 01726 873253 or email: c.pascoe@nhs.net