Helpforce is working with Third Sector Support Wales, Welsh Government and other partners to develop the potential of volunteering to support health and social services.
What is Helpforce?
From its ground-breaking inception, Sir William Beveridge and Aneurin Bevan envisioned the NHS as a place where volunteers and communities would play an active role.
Inspired by this vision, Helpforce began in England in 2017 and is working to develop a unified and integrated approach to volunteering in healthcare settings across the UK. Helpforce is demonstrating the positive impact that volunteers can have on patients, on staff and services as well as on volunteers themselves.’At Helpforce we believe that when we harness the power of dedicated and caring volunteers we can create a more compassionate care system for all of us’ – Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Founder and Chair of Helpforce.
Helpforce Cymru began in 2019 and is a two year project with support from the National Lottery Community Fund UK, NHS Wales and Helpforce UK. It is working with Third Sector Support Wales, Welsh Government and other partners to develop the potential for volunteering to support health and social care services.
The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act and A Healthier Wales provide the strategic framework for Helpforce in Wales. They embed the principles of preventative action, co-production, citizen involvement, collaborative working, and innovation and seek new models of working to transform and integrate our health and social services. Helpforce is an opportunity to highlight, develop and plan for effective volunteer involvement in hospital and community settings.
The Helpforce Cymru steering group includes representation from Welsh Government, NHS Nursing and volunteering leadership, County Voluntary Councils, third sector partners, Social Care Wales and Health Education Improvement Wales.
Helpforce Cymru is working with partners on a range of activities which contribute to achieving the following longterm aims
- readiness and capability for effective volunteer involvement
- volunteering integrated and resourced within remodelled health and social care services
- impactful volunteering which benefits patients, service users, staff and volunteers
- culture of continuous improvement through learning and sharing networks
- more robust evidence to support strategic volunteering interventions
What we are doing:
- Seeking to hold strategic conversations, including with unions and clinical leads
- Supporting pilot interventions e.g. in volunteering and end of life care
- Reviewing the evidence base for volunteering in health and social care, with a seminar for researchers, planners and practitioners
- Supporting Helpforce UK’s development of national induction standards for volunteering in health and care
- Providing strategic development support to enhance the impact of volunteering
- Identifying exemplary practice which positively impacts on health and social services, and sharing these as case studies
New standards for the induction of volunteers in health and care have been developed by Helpforce. These will provide, in due course, a framework for a new volunteering certificate.
If you would like more details about Helpforce activities, learning opportunities and resources contact Fiona Liddell, Helpforce Cymru Manager Wales (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to our Helpforce Cymru mailing list.
Articles, blogs and resources
Blog: My volunteering journey August 2020
Blog: Getting ready to re-start volunteering July 2020
Blog: Blood Bikes Wales: supporting the NHS through Covid-19 July 2020
Blog: What next: the volunteer response to COVID-19 April 2020
Blog: Volunteering and workplace relationships February 2020
Blog: Can volunteering help to achieve better health and care? November 2019
Blog: Volunteering-implications for the health and social care workforce strategy August 2019
Blog: Introducing a revised volunteering charter July 2019
Blog: Cultivating volunteering innovation June 2019
Blog: Time to celebrate May 2019
Success Stories: Volunteers repair hearing aids in Powys September 2020
Success Stories: Volunteers for mental health and wellbeing in Cardiff August 2020
Success Stories: Volunteers improve mobility and wellbeing of older patients July 2020
Success Stories: The attic project March 2020
Success Stories: Skanda Vale Hospice February 2020
Success Stories: Young volunteers supporting Cardiff hospitals December 2019
Success Stories: Red Kite volunteers at Powys Teaching Health Board October 2019
Success Stories: Positive Steps with Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service September 2019
Success Stories: Volunteering in A and E at Hywel Dda University Health Board August 2019