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Volunteers scoop top community award

08 Dec 2010 13:25:23

‘Communication Partners’ have won a prestigious award in this year’s Rotherham Community Achievement Awards.

Communication Partners provide a lifeline to adults with conditions like Aphasia caused by brain damage, often following a stroke, which can make it difficult for people to speak or write.

“The Communications Partners volunteers do an amazing job and it’s great that they have been recognised with a Community Achievement Award,” says Kerry Rogers, Director of Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.  “This project is a true community partnership with Rotherham Community Health Services (RCHS).  All the volunteers for the project are selected and recruited by the Trust as part of its own dedicated Volunteer Service and RCHS train and supervise them.  The value of the support the project provides cannot be underestimated.  Being understood is taken for granted by most of us but for some people, communicating is a real struggle. This team gives people vital support and can provide a lifeline for people who find it difficult to communicate.”

Hosted by Voluntary Action Rotherham, the annual awards celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers and the contribution they make to the local community. 

Susan Seddon, Speech and Language Support Worker, from RCHS is part of the Communication Partners team and says: “I’m really pleased the project has received this award, it means a lot to all of us. The role of a Communications Partner is rewarding in itself but to be recognised in this way is great.

“All Communications Partners are ‘paired up’ with patients to provide vital one-on-one support to help them get their confidence back and feel more secure when they talk to people. People are visited in their own homes and volunteers use different methods of communication like gestures, symbols, signs, pictures or facial expressions. This scheme really does help people and many volunteers see their partner grow in confidence and an increased willingness to explore new ways of communicating which is a great result.”

The Communications Partners project has been running for 12 months.  Through this scheme more than 25 volunteers provide support to 35 patients.

For more information about becoming a Communication Partner contact the Voluntary Services Department at Rotherham Hospital, on 01709 304329.


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