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Hospital volunteers support “Big Help Out’’ campaign

To mark His Majesty The King’s Coronation thousands of organisations across the country are highlighting the work of their volunteers and promoting the opportunities they have available to provide invaluable support.

This is all a part of the “Big Help Out’’ campaign which is encouraging people to support community groups and help them develop their services.

One way to do this is offering to volunteer at your local hospital.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has a wide range of volunteering opportunities, including a dedicated team of people who tend to the gardens around both their main hospital sites.

One such volunteer is Phil McBride who fully supports the initiative.

He said: “It’s a pleasure looking after the gardens really and me and my colleagues do it for the staff, the patients and the visitors. We enjoy doing it, to be honest, and people always tell us that they appreciate the work we do. We do put in a lot of hours, depending on the weather, but it is fantastic.

“I tend to do a couple of hours a day at key times, but it is something I love.

“I’ve been gardening since I was eight years old, and it is my passion and I love the rapport we have with the patients and the staff.’’

Phil and his gardening team colleagues won the Volunteer of the Year award at the Trust’s recent Time to Shine Awards for their dedication, working across all seasons and during all weathers, to create and maintain beautiful outdoor spaces for patients, visitors, and staff to enjoy.’’

Trust volunteer manager, Irene Gardener said: “People volunteer for all sorts of reasons, including meeting new people and learning new skills.

“But it’s also a way to get experience that helps you into employment or move on to a job you really want.

“We have growing family of more than 80 volunteers here at Southport and Ormskirk. I’d love to hear from new people who want to make a real difference for our patients and give something back to their community.”

For more details contact Irene on 01704 704 796.

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