Volunteer Training Event 2017

27th - 28th April, Bristol

Volunteers are such an important part of The Pituitary Foundation and our team.

The support they provide to patients, the awareness they raise and the contribution they make to our charity and the pituitary community is invaluable.

It had been nearly four years since our last large volunteer training event, and a lot has changed in that time! Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund, we were delighted to be able to bring our volunteers together again.

Big Lottery Fund LARGE LOGO

The two-day event in Bristol City Centre welcomed all of our volunteer groups, including Area Coordinators, Helpline Operators, Volunteer Campaigners, Fundraising Group Leaders, Forum Moderators, Office Volunteers, and Telephone Buddies.

A real mix of roles but all of which are volunteering for the same reason – they want to support pituitary patients through all stages of their journey.

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CEO, Menai Owen-Jones, welcomed delegates and introduced The Foundation Staff. Followed by Psychologist Dr. Sue Jackson, who discussed psychological and emotional support for volunteers’.

Head of Finance & Resources, Sarah Leighton, gave health and safety advice to the volunteers, highlighting working best practise and taking care of the data.

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Sammy Harbut (Patient & Family Services Coordinator), led a workshop on providing appropriate telephone and email support for patients.

Another workshop focused on coordinating support groups, fundraising, and raising awareness, led by Rosa Watkin (Campaigns, Volunteers & Events Manager), Pat McBride (Head of Patient & Family Services), and Jay Sheppard (Senior Fundraising Manager).

Peer support sessions gave attendees the chance to chat to others in the same role and share their thoughts on volunteering.

Endocrine Specialist Nurse, Alison Milne, gave an excellent talk on her current hydrocortisone awareness project and recapped on sick day rules.

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After a long but informative day, volunteers and staff enjoyed a social evening.

The 2017 General Meeting for Members the following day featured guest speaker Dr. Vernon Parfitt, Consultant Physician & Endocrinologist. He led an insightful discussion on a consultant’s view of the annual patient appointment, decisions about pituitary treatment, and pituitary multidisciplinary teams.

We are so grateful to the guest speakers who gave their time and expertise to help us. 

One of our volunteers gave us this lovely feedback: 

"My heartfelt thanks to the foundation for giving such a good event and to help us try to move forward with you all. To me, the fact that the volunteers are being involved and receiving information is so important - it makes me feel a definite part of the team."

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It was great to see the familiar faces and also meet the new ones within the team. It was a perfect opportunity to socialise, share experiences and for everyone to get to know one another.

It is a very rare and special occasion for us all to meet together so a big thank you to all our volunteers who made the effort to travel from all over the UK to join us in Bristol.

And again, thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for providing the funding for this event to go ahead.

The Pituitary Foundation could not achieve the amount that we do without our volunteers’ commitment, passion and amazing hard work! You are truly invaluable to us and without all of you, many of our support services would simply not be running.

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Thank you all and we hope we can continue to run these events regularly in the future!