Volunteers at the Heart of the Downe

7th December 2022
Volunteers at the Downe Hospital

The Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust, Roisin Coulter visited the Downe Hospital to officially launch the Volunteer Meeter & Greeter service as part of the International Volunteers’ Day celebrations.

The Meeter & Greeter Service was regenerated at the request of the Chief Executive, as part of a project called  ‘Keeping the Heart in the Downe’.

The Meeter & Greeter desk in reception is manned by local volunteers who welcome visitors and patients as they enter the front foyer of the hospital. They then help them find their way to wards and departments.

Volunteers who carry out a  variety of essential roles, for example Volunteer Drivers, Activity Volunteers, Ward volunteers, Peer Supporters and Befrienders in the community were delighted to attend the event.  These volunteers give up their time to help a diverse range of patients and clients in our hospitals, facilities and in the community.

Roisin Coulter said, “Our volunteers play such an important role in the Trust and I was delighted to visit the Downe Hospital and see for myself the incredible work that our volunteers do, not just here in the Downe Hospital, but throughout the community. ‘Keeping the Heart in the Downe’ is truly a reflection of the heartfelt work which volunteers in this area undertake every single day. Our Trust celebrates Hidden Heroes and the volunteers who quietly help anyone who needs them certainly fall into this category. They are an integral part of the Trust and I would like to express my gratitude to them.”

Acting Chairman Jonathan Patton welcomed the opportunity to pay tribute to our teams of volunteers whom he described as playing an “invaluable” role in the Trust.  Jonathan Patton added, “The dedication of our volunteers throughout the Trust really makes a difference to the lives of so many people. Their enormous contribution helps us to improve the experience of those we care for.”

Volunteer Meeter & Greeter Marion Ritchie explains, “I really enjoy volunteering and I always find that the people I help are very friendly and grateful for the service the team provides. I just love it!”

Volunteer Services Manager Sonya Duffy said “I am delighted that we have been able to recruit enough volunteers to provide a Meeter & Greeter service 5 days per week.  We have 52 volunteers in the Downpatrick area, 23 have been recruited this year.  Volunteers make a fantastic contribution and improve our services in a meaningful way.  We are keen to recruit more volunteers and offer opportunities for people from the local community to join our team and help us make a positive difference in people lives.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email volunteer@setrust.hscni.net