Many charities rely on the commitment and time of volunteers, helping them reach deeper into local communities. This is something that our Trustees values highly. Helpforce recognises the many ways that volunteers make health care more effective. They work with many NHS Trusts, health care professionals and charities to adopt and adapt a wide range of volunteer roles.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the physical and mental health of the nation. Millions of surgeries were cancelled or postponed. Thousands of cancer patients waited for treatment and significant numbers of people are living with long Covid. In response to increased need, Helpforce launched its Back to Health Campaign. They have an ambitious goal – to help one million people across the UK recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic, through the support of volunteers. The charity is working with health and care organisations to create high-impact volunteering opportunities online and in person. Volunteers are supporting patients in various ways, including:
- Hospital discharge support. Volunteers drive patients home and help them settle in.
- Fall prevention. Volunteers help patients do prescribed exercises at home, improving their fitness and reducing the risk of falls. This prevents them from being readmitted to hospital.
- Comfort Call service. Volunteers call patients on waiting lists and those recently discharged. They identify support needs, escalate concerns and direct patients to community services.
Helpforce presented a strong case. They showed their track record of working with health organisations and volunteers to improve patients’ health. They also explained how they would measure and evaluate the campaign’s effectiveness. The Back to Health plan needed £5 million funding over three years. When Helpforce applied to us, they had secured £2 million. They were approaching a range of individual donors, statutory bodies and Trusts and Foundations for funds. Our Trustees donated £225,000 towards its vital work.