Volunteers Week 2024: Hear from our incredible volunteers

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News on 6th June, 2024

Thank You, Volunteers graphicAs we celebrate Volunteers Week (Monday 3 to Sunday 9 June 2024), we are delighted to share heartfelt quotes from our dedicated volunteers, each reflecting their unique experiences and the profound impact of their service.

Volunteers Week provides an invaluable opportunity to recognise, celebrate and thank our incredible volunteers for their contribution to our organisation. Their dedication, compassion, and tireless efforts make a significant difference to the lives of our service users, and we are immensely grateful for their generosity.

Hear from our incredible volunteers:

“I look forward to my volunteer sessions at Langdon Hospital, Dawlish where I assist the team with horticulture therapy. I attend the sessions year round and throughout the changing seasons there is always something worthwhile to do and see. Working alongside the patients, we achieve so much together. I have learnt a lot about myself since volunteering at the hospital and have discovered real purpose in getting involved as well as meeting new people and sharing a common goal. I have no doubt that volunteering changes people's lives for the better.” - Robyn Tupper, Volunteer Horticulture Assistant at Langdon Hospital

“I volunteer one day a week at New Leaf and no two days are the same. The processes involved in plant nursery work are varied and there are many ways to contribute and lots to learn. The most remarkable thing is the team who are kind, calm and welcoming. One day I helped with plant sales on the New Leaf stand at a garden festival in the grounds of Powderham Castle. It was great to be part of the team meeting the public. A little bit of New Leaf rubs off on everyone - it's magical!” - Tamsin Pender, Volunteer Horticulture Assistant at New Leaf

“I have been volunteering since December 2022 with my human, Charlie. I enjoy making staff and patients laugh with my funny ways and crowd-pleasing tricks. My most recent achievement is realising that if I stare longingly enough into someone’s eyes when the biscuit trolley is about, I might just get the ultimate reward – a custard cream!” - Charlie and Rudi, Pets as Therapy Volunteer

"I have been a volunteer at New Leaf in the plant nursery department for the past year. Before that, I had been to New Leaf as a service user. Volunteering at New Leaf is such a privilege, and amazing experience in every way - working with the plants and all the wonderful staff really helps me to feel of worth. For me, it's a dream come true to be part of the team. It is so good also to be able to give something back to the NHS in some small way because of all the care I have received over the years from them. Most of all, volunteering in New Leaf has given me hope when I thought I'd lost it. It’s the very best of places to be - I love being a part of New Leaf, it means the world to me." - Val Thorne, Volunteer Horticulture Assistant at New Leaf

"I get to work alongside some fantastic people, including service users and DPT staff. I enjoy giving back to the community and supporting those on their path to recovery. When someone starts to flourish, whether it's finding a new skill or feeling a renewed sense of purpose, it's the most rewarding thing to see. It's a reminder of the positive impact this program can have on people's lives." - Nick Harrison, Woodwork and Horticulture Volunteer

"I wanted to help create the TALKWORKS volunteer programme so people can give back to a service that helped them.

"I really enjoy attending marketing events because I get to talk to so many new people.

"My plans for the future are to continue watch the new TALKWORKS volunteering programme grow" - Archie Harding, Pioneer Volunteer at TALKWORKS

"I’ve been volunteering in the woodwork shop at New Leaf for four months now, and would commend New Leaf for its amazing team and the great atmosphere and environment in which to work. I’ve found it very rewarding to support the woodwork department with their projects, and to support clients in their recovery as they come to learn skills and build confidence through their work in the wood shop." - Andy Haytread, Woodwork Volunteer

"I started volunteering for DPT in Autumn 2023 because I enjoy helping others. I also needed more experience; clinical supervision, patient care, training, the experience of working alongside patients and colleagues in a multi-disciplinary way.

"I have had a positive experience; I have been able to hang out with, play games with patients, make a difference and positive impact, meet lovely staff, had supervision and attended training. I have enjoyed spending time with patients and positively impacting their day and recovery. Over the next few months my plans are to holiday with family and enjoy the summer. I would recommend volunteering to anyone who enjoys helping others." - Chloe Pooley, Volunteer Befriender on Haldon Unit

Pictured below: Robyn (top left), Tamsin (top middle-left), Rudi (top middle-right), Chloe (top right), Val (bottom left), Nick Harrison (bottom middle), Archie Harding, (bottom right)

Robyn (top left), Tamsin (top middle-left), Rudi (top middle-right), Chloe (top right), Val (bottom left), Nick Harrison (bottom middle), Archie Harding, (bottom right)

Hear from our staff commenting on the vital work we receive from our volunteers:

"We have increased the number of volunteers at New Leaf over the past 12 months and now have a wonderful group of volunteers ranging from retired professionals and working adults to those looking for meaningful activity, a sense of purpose, or even the next steps into a new career pathway.

"Not only do our volunteers support us with our commercial activity, working alongside our service users, but they bring a new dynamic to the team, each with their own range of experience, knowledge and skills which contributes to the richness of diversity at New Leaf.

"We will definitely be looking at recruiting more volunteers in the future. They are all amazing people, and we are so grateful for their support." - Della Norris, New Leaf Vocational Rehabilitation Service Manager

"We have a combination of volunteers, all are DPT staff from across Devon who currently work in varying other roles and departments, but that are training to be a counsellor completed Level 3, or finished training and looking for additional hours experience, or wanting to build a CV.

"Our volunteers role, sits alongside the trauma groups that we run here in the North Devon Psychology department. Our volunteers support the clients who are already attending a weekly group therapy intervention, by meeting with them online via MS Teams and offering empathic listening, stability and support, help with the homework exercises, offering encouragement and motivation and a containing space.

"As one of the psychotherapists who facilitates the group work, I recognise that this volunteer role is a really vital part of the group work that we do with the clients. We often have three or four volunteers working with us at one time for short bursts and during their time with us they become part of the ‘group team’, attending our consults, being supervised and supported by the facilitators. For the client these volunteers offer and an essential space outside of the group, to think and express themselves freely, and the feedback we get from the clients has always been positive and grateful for the extra support the volunteers give them." - Katrina Wilson, Psychology and Psychological Therapies