Congratulations to Macmillan’s Sarah Davies, based at the University Hospital of Wales who is the very first Macmillan professional in Wales to be presented with the Macmillan Volunteering Quality Standard (MVQS).
Sarah, who is an Information and Support Facilitator, received her award at a presentation attended by staff and volunteers at the Macmillan Information Support Service in the University Hospital of Wales.
The MVQS recognises the development and improvement that Sarah has made to the volunteer experience at the three information centres she runs.
Sarah is supported by a total of 18 volunteers across the three sites in the University Hospital of Wales, University Hospital Llandough and Barry Hospital.
Volunteer Clive Hall has volunteered with Sarah since November 2018. A Cardiff resident, who recently retired, Clive decided to join the team when his neighbour who already volunteers with Sarah, recommended he give it a go. Sadly, Clive had lost his sister to cancer and he felt that this was a good way to give something back.
Speaking about his volunteering, Clive said: ‘’The best parts are also the most challenging – often you chat with someone, and literally 30 minutes before they have been receiving a cancer diagnosis. You know you have made a difference to that person, even if it’s just by listening to them and giving them some useful information to take away’’.
The MVQS is an optional development programme that Macmillan offers to staff and professionals. It is delivered through one-to-one coaching over a 12-month period.
Sarah has been managing volunteers for a number of years but decided last year that she would take on MVQS.
‘’I wanted to do the qualification to improve the service for both volunteers and the people who benefit from it, to make sure that everyone has the best possible experience’’.
Reflecting on how MVQS had helped her, Sarah said:
‘’It’s definitely helped me to make changes. For instance, I’ve started logging volunteer hours as a way of demonstrating how much extra resource the volunteers add to the centres and put in place things like the volunteer newsletter and the comments board’’.
Macmillan operates a number of quality assurance standards that ensure services are delivered to the best possible quality for people living with and affected by cancer.
Sarah and her team of volunteers are delighted to have also completed their Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) and the Macmillan Quality Information and Support Service (MQUISS) standards this year.
Sarah and her volunteering team are really pleased to have gained all three quality standards in one year, a testament to the hard work of everyone involved.
Reflecting on how they work together, Sarah added: ‘’Working with a team of volunteers, you realise how much everyone contributes in different ways, often with the life experience they bring with them.’’
Michelle Fowler, Volunteer Services Manager for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “I’d like to congratulate Sarah on receiving this award which highlights the development and improvements that Sarah has made to the Macmillan volunteer experience at the Centres she runs. I’d also like to thank our volunteers for all that they do to help us improve patient and visitor experience to our hospitals.”