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Hospital volunteers celebrated

Jo with food donations

In celebration of Volunteers Week (1 – 7 June), Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has shone the spotlight on three volunteers who continue to help at the Trust in various different roles.

Lucy Thomas Clayton, director for charities and voluntary services, said: “Each and every day our dedicated volunteers make a huge positive difference to the lives of our patients and our staff across the Trust. They cover many different roles, from CareCar drivers to feeding buddies, to rota planners and wellbeing hub volunteers, they never fail to help make someone’s day better –  we couldn’t be more grateful for all they do.”

Alan Hooper, from Hockley, used to work in the City, but since he retired he has been a proud volunteer at Southend Hospital for the last 14 years. He is always going that extra mile for staff and patients. He is currently a volunteer in outpatients.

Alan said: “I’m here to help. It can be nothing more than just a friendly ‘hello’, ‘are you OK?’ or answering a question. So often it’s just simple, very easy things – taking a patient to where they need to be or pushing them in a wheelchair, holding their arm or just chatting to them and putting them at their ease.

For me a simple ‘thank you’ from a patient or on their returning visit ‘you helped me last time’ tells me that my time has been well invested and hopefully I have given patients a good experience of the hospital”.

Since her dad’s treatment following a stroke in 2019, Helen Hughes, from Hertfordshire, has actively supported the Trust through volunteering and fundraising for Southend Hospital. In total, Helen has raised almost £2,000 to support Southend’s stroke unit.

Helen was one of the Trust’s first volunteers during the initial wave of Covid in 2020, she helped in a number of varied roles and has continued with her support ever since.

Despite living in Hertfordshire and working full time as a business development manager, Helen has taken many three-hour round trips to volunteer to help make a huge difference when needed.

Most recently, Helen gave up her day to help abseilers in last month’s Tackle the Tower event. She continues to make such a positive impact.

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Jo Hadley Nunn knew she wanted to give something back to the NHS With the support of her employer, a Japanese Pharmaceuticals company in the City, Jo committed to volunteering for two days a week.

She held down various roles during the initial wave of the pandemic, many of which were in  wellbeing hub at Southend Hospital. This space was a haven and a place of calm for hospital staff. Later Jo assisted in the vaccination centre and with the large volumes of donated items Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity gratefully received.

Jo remains a regular volunteer, giving one day a week, and is now responsible for CareCar bookings for patients and the volunteer rota planning of the wellbeing hubs.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for one of our hospitals, please get in touch with the team at

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