Oxford Health matron Mandy McKendry has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of her fantastic contribution to volunteering in the NHS.

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

In the last year alone Mandy has recruited more than 45 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.

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

Mandy said: “It’s such an honour to have been nominated for this award. It has truly been the most humbling of experiences to work with our volunteers in urgent care. It is a privilege to get to know them as they have all shown themselves to be the most extraordinary of people – totally committed and caring – who give their time freely and have such an impact on everyone they come into contact with.”

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

Julie said: “Mandy has been working tirelessly to introduce volunteers in urgent care who can support patients, especially those with additional needs or dependents.

“Mandy has personally met every person to ensure suitability to a volunteer role in a high-pressured environment; she’s organised training including dementia awareness and infection control. The volunteers have been crucial in supporting patients in waiting areas during a time of high stress. It can’t be under-estimated just how much this has boosted patient experience while also easing pressures on our urgent care teams.

The awards, which take place in central London on Friday, October 25, will celebrate the exciting ways in which volunteers across the country are giving their time to benefit patients, staff, and communities.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of Helpforce, said: “It is fantastic to see so many brilliant examples of innovation, great practice, commitment, and real passion for patient care and support for staff across the NHS in the UK. It is a privilege to hold these awards and celebrate volunteers across the UK.”

The categories being celebrated at the awards are:

  • Outstanding Volunteering Team of the Year
  • Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Outstanding Staff Champion for Volunteers
  • Volunteer Leader of the Year
  • Partnership Working in Volunteering
  • Innovation in Volunteering Award
  • Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity in Volunteering

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.