Former BBC news editor Bob Lloyd-Smith is urging people to consider volunteering this Volunteers' Week (1 – 7 June).
Healthwatch currently has over 5,000 volunteers across the country. They help us make sure that people's views and experiences shape health and social care services, and they also help people find information about care available locally.
Help make people's voices heard
Bob chairs Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s steering group and has made it his mission to recruit more volunteers for Healthwatch.
"Healthwatch Gloucestershire offers a really user-friendly and safe way for those in need of health and social care in the county to say what they think of the service they receive.
I see first-hand much of the remarkable care provided by the health professionals and their support staff. It's also great to hear directly from service users about the care they receive and making these voices heard."
Making a difference to people's experiences
Part of Bob’s role as a volunteer Chair is to help plan Healthwatch Gloucestershire decide which areas of health and social care to focus on. They do this by looking at what local people are saying about local services, spotting trends, and then speaking to those in charge about people's views.
When asked about what the most rewarding part of being a volunteer was, Bob said:
“It seems a bit simplistic to say it but one of the most rewarding parts of my volunteering role is being able to make a difference.
Healthwatch Gloucestershire representatives are invited to some of the most important and influential decision-making meetings, which are discussing health and social care provision across the county - and beyond in many cases."
Get involved this Volunteers' Week
Take a look at how you can highlight the importance of volunteering this Volunteers' Week (1-7 June). Share your story, or someone else's, and get involved with the conversation on social media #VolunteersWeek19.
If you would like to help make a difference to people's experiences of health and social care, get in touch with your local Healthwatch today.