NHS volunteer army praised as they stand down after months of hard work at the Highlands' biggest hospital
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Tributes have been paid to an army of NHS volunteers who spent months giving their time to help staff, patients and members of the public at Raigmore Hospital.
Since July last year, the 46-strong team have worked in shifts at the entrance to the Inverness hospital to smooth the movement of people during the pandemic.
The volunteers had many tasks, from encouraging people to gel their hands to directing patients to appointments.
An NHS Highland spokeswoman said: “Huge thanks to our team of volunteers at Raigmore Hospital who, since starting in July 2020, have supported staff, patients and members of the public as we all worked our way through Covid and a second lockdown.
"The team of 46 volunteers worked in shifts to man the front entrance of the hospital.
“Just some of the assistance they provided included encouraging people to gel their hands and wear a mask as they entered the hospital, signposting patients to their appointments and, if the patient needed more support, taking them to and from their appointment.
“They also, when visiting was restricted, would take bags up to wards for patients that included toiletries, clothing etc.
“On an average day this could be up to 80 bag drops up and down the tower block.
“With lockdown easing and visiting restrictions slowly lifting, the shifts are now coming to an end but we just wanted to give them a massive shout out for all the support they have given us and our patients over the past few months.
“We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank every volunteer across NHS Highland who has helped and supported us during these very challenging times.
“We are so grateful to you all!”
An NHS Highland social media post thanking the volunteers drew over 1600 'likes', with many voicing praise for the volunteer army.
Karen Smart wrote: "Thank you for your kindness and support for staff and patients," while Linda MacRae added: "Thank you to every one of the volunteers. Your kindness and generosity has been much appreciated."