The Volunteering in Health AGM on the 28th of September 2023

Volunteering in Health’s AGM was held at Bitton House Teignmouth on 28th Sept

Over 60 people attended the recent AGM, Alwyn chair of trustees opened with this motivating speech


“I would like to recognise the importance of Volunteering in Health and all of the other Charity and voluntary organisations that are represented here today.  The significance of our collective efforts and the transformative impact we have on individuals and our community in general should not be underestimated.  


One of the questions I ask in our exit interviews is Do you have any suggestions for improvements in VIH? One suggestion was that we should change our name to  Volunteering For Health,  as she recognised the positive impact on the well-being of staff and volunteers as they support our clients to improve their well-being. I think that just goes to show That if you want to feel good you have to do good.   

Of course, when vacancies are created we are fortunate to be able to recruit new blood, and we have three new team members Sue Yates, Annabel Murray and Cara Kinsey. I would like to thank them for hitting the ground running and for the positive impact they have already made.  


By collaborating with health care providers, our staff and volunteers alleviates the burden on the healthcare systems and contribute to the efficient delivery of care and support.  Our collective actions  creates a collaborative ecosystem where professionals and volunteers work hand in hand, amplifying the impact of our efforts. In fact, this  year our friends at CVS commissioned a report which showed that for every hour of well-being services provided by the NHS the Charity  / Voluntary  sector could provide  one and a half hours for the same cost. 

Of course some people may be concerned about what exactly can volunteers contribute. That is why this year, with the organisation of our management team and our newly appointed Volunteer Co-ordinator, we have delivered professional training to our volunteers ensuring they have all of the required skills to support them and our clients. 


Of course the elephant in the room is “ Just what  is the NHS going to look like for us locally in the near future? “ our Guest speaker Councillor Martin Wrigley,  may  be giving us an update on where we are on some of the local provisions.


Finally I would like to thank my fellow Trustees, all of whom are also volunteers,  for their support and efforts in guiding VIH.  We are hoping to recruit two new Trustees very  shortly. One of the reasons for recruitment is that  Ken Goodsell is leaving us after nine years of service. Ken has been a stalwart, with a wealth of knowledge and he has seen VIH blossom during his time with us especially during his period of Chairmanship. I personally would like to thank him for his guidance when I took over the chair. Thank you Ken. 

“Through our collective efforts we can bridge the well-being gaps, empower individuals, and build a healthier, more inclusive  community.  

I encourage each of you to keep inspiring others, and join us on our journey of compassion and embrace the power of Volunteering. “ 

High lights of the AGM included the KEEPING HOPE group presentation. Piloted this year and a major success story, KEEPING HOPE, our staff led, peer to peer ongoing support group for HOPE attendees to progress on to. The pilot group have bonded incredibly well. Young, and old, people from different backgrounds have become friends, confidants and mutual supporters. These people, each facing many personal challenges, co-operatively created “KEEPING HOPE set back boxes”. These contain specific items to support a person when they are feeling unwell or low, and can be customised to the individual’s needs.

The group has been so successful that they have created their own branding

Please follow the link to watch our inspirational KEEPING HOPE, participant, Enya explain more:

Thanks go to Mayor and Cllr Joan Atkins for opening our AGM and for the talk that Cllr Martin Wrigley gave around the challenges faced by District and County Council in delivering services and the importance of the voluntary sector in helping provide those.

We look forward to showcasing our services and impact next year

Julia Street

General Manager