Report by Adam Fowler.
More than 500 NHS volunteers from Sheffield are being presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the highest honour a voluntary group can receive in the UK, equivalent to being awarded an MBE.
It has been awarded to Sheffield Hospitals Volunteers from the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in recognition of the support they provide to patients and staff and for going above and beyond to support the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The volunteers service, which is part-funded by supporters of Sheffield Hospitals Charity, currently has more than 500 volunteers from ages 16 to 85. They take on a wide range of roles, including running music and art ward activities, being welcomers at entrances to help people find their way to wards and departments, and being pharmacy runners to collect medicines so patients can be discharged quickly.
The Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kirsten Major, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that our volunteers have been recognised by this prestigious award, which is made even more special that they have received it in the year of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
“As well as all the brilliant support they have provided to our hospitals across the years, the way they have stepped up to a new challenge over the last two years has been remarkable.
“They have shown incredible commitment in helping us, despite challenges due to Covid-19, and have most recently played a vital part in supporting our vaccination programme. Their flexibility, willingness to adapt and unstinting dedication has been extraordinary and we are very lucky to have them as part of our team.”
The Chairman of Sheffield Hospitals Charity, Adrian Stone, said: “It is our privilege to support the service and the vital work it does for the hospitals. The award belongs to each and every one of the amazing and dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to support our local NHS."
Representatives of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust volunteers will receive the award and certificate from Professor Dame Hilary Chapman DBE, Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire later this summer.