The award for training excellence was given to the specialist palliative care unit for its innovative approach to training its End of Life Volunteers.
The programme, headed up by Volunteer Coordinator Anita Rigler, has seen the Unit recruit volunteers based on a number of values. It allows experienced volunteers to train new ones and support each other via peer support and supervision.
The new training follows a forty per cent increase in referrals to the Macmillan Unit and since it was introduced, more than 300 people have volunteered their time. Not only has the training benefited the Macmillan Unit, other charities in the area are also adopting the same techniques, with volunteers going to Christchurch Angels, Lewis-Manning Hospice and the Motor Neurone Disease Association as well as local care agencies, to deliver training on the innovative programme.
Anita Rigler, along with her husband and volunteer, Mandy Preece, attended a presentation by HRH The Princess Royal at St James’s Palace to accept the award. They were joined by representatives from 39 other organisations.
Anita said, “It’s an absolute honour to have our hard work acknowledged by a Princess Royal Training Award. Our service simply wouldn’t be the same without our wonderful volunteers so it’s important we attract the right people to volunteer with us and support and train them as best we can for the important work they do – this award is for them.
“It’s also a great honour to share our learnings and practice with other organisations that rely on the support of volunteers. We’re always happy to discuss our practice and learn from other organisations too.”
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