To celebrate National Volunteering Week, St Andrew's Healthcare is joining forces with other mental health organisations in Northampton to help people to see the benefits of volunteering.
The goal for the #100ThousandHours campaign is a simple one: together with partners Northampton Mind, Samaritans Northampton, The Lowdown and the Hope Centre, St Andrews Hospital aims to achieve a combined 100,000 hours of volunteering.
Dawn Wright, volunteering manager for St Andrew's Healthcare said: "We hope that by working together with our partner charities we can achieve something amazing - a combined total of 100,000 hours of volunteering.
"Here at St Andrew's our volunteers make a massive difference to the lives of our patients, and in turn they receive our support, appreciation, training and sincere thanks. We hope that the campaign will reduce the stigma around mental health, while allowing us to recruit some new people to our team."
Staff at St Andrews Hospital say that their volunteers lend their time, energy and expertise, supporting patient events and escorting our patients to activities sessions.
They also commit to befriending - visiting people on the wards who do not have visitors – and spend time chatting and playing games.
There is also a team who bring in their Pets as Therapy dogs to the hospitals, so the people in their care can spend time with their animals and experience the joy, comfort and companionship that friendly animals and wagging tails can bring.
Last year St Andrew’s volunteers managed to lend 16,000 hours, and this year the hospital is aiming to double that - with help from their partners.
Louise Danielczuk, fundraising and marketing manager for The Hope Centre said: “The Hope Centre is a haven of support for the homeless in Northampton. Volunteering plays a huge role in the development and rehabilitation of those accessing our service and we are really excited to be partnering with St Andrew’s to help reach the 100,000 hours.
"We hope that this initiative will motivate those who already volunteer to give more and encourage new volunteers to join in and see the benefits of volunteering.”
If you are an individual, a business, a community group, or a team of friends and you would like to pledge your time to make a difference to the lives of people in need, all you have to do is sign up and donate some hours of volunteering with any of the campaign partners.
To find out more about the campaign, click here.