The many people who give up their own time to help the service users of ²gether NHS Foundation Trust have been formally thanked for everything they do.
The volunteers and experts by experience – people who have experienced mental illness or have a learning disability and use that experience to advise the Trust – were invited to a tea party held in their honour at Kingsholm Stadium, in Gloucester.
Speaking at the gathering, ²gether’s Chair Ruth FitzJohn, said: "Our volunteers and experts by experience are beyond a shadow of a doubt the most important group I will meet this year.
"You give your time, knowledge, experience and energy to help build the communities we live in here in Gloucestershire and in Herefordshire.
"Today I am having tea in the company of heroes and giants."
More than 95 volunteers are registered with ²gether, and they work to enhance and improve the services the Trust provides.
Their work includes:
Helping to tend the gardens at our inpatient units
Visiting inpatient units with Pat (Pets as Therapy) dogs
Driving service users to and from appointments
Meeting and greeting people who attend courses provided by Let’s Talk
Helping at meal times
There are more than 150 experts by experience registered with the Trust. They also help in a variety of ways, including sitting on interview panels when staff are being recruited, advising on trust policies, helping to provide staff training, and participating in focus groups to provide feedback on important issues the Trust is working on, including its long term strategies.
To express an interest in volunteering with the Trust, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 01452 894200.