Oxford Health matron Mandy McKendry has won a national award in recognition of her contribution to volunteering in the NHS.

Mandy, who is matron for urgent and ambulatory care across Oxfordshire, won the Outstanding Staff Champion for Volunteers category in the 2019 Helpforce Champions Awards.

In the last year alone Mandy has recruited more than 61 volunteers who help support the trust’s emergency multi-disciplinary units, minor injury units and the out-of-hours services at community hospitals in Witney, Abingdon, Henley, Bicester and Wallingford.

Judges at Helpforce Champions said: “Mandy personally meets each new volunteer applicant for the Urgent Care roles and introduces them to the teams, locations and environments they will be supporting.

“She identifies where the role needs to be tailored to suit the skills of the volunteer, or the needs of the unit, in a proactive and supportive manner, working especially hard with younger volunteers who may need a confidence boost.

“Mandy is passionate about arranging dementia awareness training for the volunteers, as she recognises that they offer excellent support. She also arranges regular sessions to meet the volunteers and discuss their experiences in the role, and helps identify ways of developing the role.

“Mandy shares the positive impact volunteers are having on both staff and patient experience within the units and has presented her findings nationally to encourage the development of the role in other Trusts. She is an inspiring leader.”

By shining a light on the range of ways that volunteers are involved in the NHS, the national awards show that dedicated volunteers can contribute to a more compassionate care system for everyone.

Mandy said: “I am so proud of the team of volunteers who support our services. They are all dedicated  and exceptional people and it is an honour to work alongside them. This award should really go to them for their commitment and on going support.”

Mandy was nominated for the award by Julie Pink, Oxford Health’s community involvement manager.

Helpforce is a national movement on a mission to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and communities through the power of volunteering.

It is working with hospitals and healthcare workers to help shape the future of volunteering in the NHS.

Backed by leaders in the world of healthcare, it aims to make community-integrated healthcare the norm across the UK.