Volunteer Voices July 2021

This is your news e-bulletin from Voluntary services which will help us to keep in touch with you, and show you all the amazing activities that our volunteers are doing here at KMPT. Here at KMPT, we are very proud to have an army of volunteers who allow us to provide additional support for our patients and their families.

Publication date:
31 July 2021
Date range:
July 2021 - ongoing

Volunteer Voices

Welcome to Volunteer Voices...

And just like that, we're in July. This month has brought and continues to bring so much hope and positivity to people's lives - whether a football fan or not, the UEFA Euro 2020 really drove a sense of pride and camaraderie throughout the country, and with the Government's announcement that the 19 July will see the lifting of the majority of restrictions across England, it feels like summer 2021 is really about to begin.

Of course the announcement, although positive for many, is also quite a daunting prospect and after living in states of lockdown for the last year and a half, we know that many of you might have feelings of anxiety or worry about the restrictions being lifted. Every Mind Matters has a list of top tips for anyone who is struggling with managing their feelings about lockdown lifting - which is a really useful read.

Here at KMPT we are continuing with our own roadmap, in line with the Government's, that will see an easing of some of our own restrictions on the 19 July. You can read more about the roadmap here. The most exciting part of this for us, is that we will welcoming all our volunteers across all our sites (still wearing masks and following infection control procedures of course!) - something that hasn't been possible for so long. We cannot wait to welcome you all back with open arms and to be able to move forwards with our projects and services.

With this in mind, we're going to become increasingly busy and so have decided to reduce the frequency of this newsletter to quarterly (expect your next issue in October) so that we can really focus on making sure that you, our volunteers, are safe and happy on your return. We hope you understand and would love for you to get in contact with us to let us know how your return to volunteering experience has been. Please contact kmpt.communications@nhs.net with your story of return so that we can feature it in our next issue.

So until October, a huge welcome back all - we have so many exciting opportunities and experiences ahead of us!

Webb’s Garden & Canterbury 14th Scout Explorers Volunteering

On Friday 2 July, we welcomed the Canterbury 14th Scout Explorers group to Webb’s Garden to help weed and dig as we prepare to recover our large polytunnel.

Zoe Young, Voluntary services coordinator east Kent, collaborated with Ross Buggins, Webb’s volunteer (who is also KMPT’s Software development manager) to organise the event. Ross is also a Scout leader (he is a very busy chap!) and he and Zoe arranged for the Scout group to come along and help in the garden, performing a variety of tasks and learning new skills.

They were all wonderful, worked hard and a good time was had by all – Scout leaders included! They made a tremendous difference and contribution and we are very grateful to them.

Kentish Stars

Our very own Zoe Young, Louise Blackwood, and Clare Streeter joined forces with Kamila Lobuzinska, Catronia Toms and Sharn Clare from the Patient engagement team to participate in the VirginPulse Virtual Walk Around the World Challenge in April. Their team was called "Kentish Stars" and they came fourth out of more than 70 teams across KMPT.

As a Trust, we walked 86,473 miles. This equates to 160,945,206 steps; of which Kentish Stars walked 6,634,785 steps in total, which is the equivalent of walking around the world three times!

What an amazing achievement from everyone involved.

Don't forget that Zoe, Louise and Clare will be walking the 13 mile perimeter of Stonehenge this September; to raise money for those currently living with dementia and support research into finding a cure.

They would love your support, so please go to their fundraising page to donate towards this good cause: https://www.justgiving.com/team/TeamKMPT

Good luck Team KMPT!

Forget-Me-Nots have their first face-to-face meeting

On Friday 9 July, our Forget-Me-Not dementia group held their first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic began.

It was a hybrid meeting, with volunteers attending to support both those who could attend the physical meeting, and those who joined online. It was both a wonderful and highly emotional day, with many of the group having not seen each other in sixteen months - we hope this is just the start of more meetings like this!

The Friends and family group also met for the first time this month, with many wanting to chat and receive support from each other about their experiences during the pandemic and caring for a loved one living with dementia. Two KMPT volunteers facilitated the meeting and there was lots of chat, laughter, tea and cake.

We're so happy to be able to bring people back together again for these vital meetings - although seeing how brilliantly they've all adapted to being online, being able to see many of us in the same room again has been quite magical for us as a team.

We're looking for some green-fingered volunteers

On Wednesday 28 July from 12pm – 3pm, Voluntary services is holding an open afternoon at Webb’s Garden, Canterbury.

We are marking the Samaritans' Talk To Us campaign by having our volunteer hospital radio DJ, Chris, at the event. He will be playing uplifting summer themed songs and will be interviewing staff and volunteers.

There will also be a variety of activities such as a pop quiz, refreshments, plant and produce sales and a raffle.

You are all invited to come along and meet staff and your fellow volunteers while enjoying a bit of music and maybe picking up some fresh, locally grown produce and plants.

It's a great opportunity to celebrate the joy, benefit and importance of talking. We look forward to seeing you all there!

And finally...

When we had our picnic in Mote Park to celebrate Volunteers' Week, we gave out tomato plants as gifts. We asked you all to keep in touch about how your's are growing and would like to share the progress of Norman's, one of our amazing volunteer drivers, plant with you all... Amazing work and we hope that the tomatoes will be tasty. At the very least we are pleased to see how safely guarded they are!