Published on: Tuesday 27th November 2018

Volunteers working with our Recovery Colleges have been honoured at the first ever Helpforce Champions Awards, earning national recognition of their fantastic contribution to volunteering in the NHS. The awards, which took place in central London on Thursday 8 November, celebrated the varied ways in which volunteers across the country are giving their time to benefit patients, staff, and communities.


Volunteers from Surrey and north east Hampshire’s Recovery Colleges achieved second place in the category of Partnership Working in Volunteering in recognition of their pivotal contribution to the service which helps people recovering from mental health problems. Volunteers are a key part of the team running local Recovery Colleges, which provide a series of short courses to help people improve their health and wellbeing. The courses span a range of topics, including self-care for mental and physical health conditions and creative pursuits such as creative writing or the arts. They are developed and delivered by people who all have lived experience of mental or physical illness, or are supporting someone with a mental or physical illness.


Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very grateful to all our volunteers for the outstanding work they do in a huge range of settings across the Trust. It’s wonderful to see national recognition for the way our volunteers dedicate themselves to helping other people who are experiencing mental health problems.”


Rebecca Isherwood-Smith, Recovery College Manager, said: “We are incredibly proud of this achievement and are delighted about the recognition this award gives to our volunteers in their role of making our Recovery Colleges a success.”