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Volunteers come to the aid of patients and staff

The HelpForce initiative aims to double the number of volunteers supporting NHS patients, co-ordinate their work with that of paid staff and involve them in crucial areas such as discharge

The HelpForce initiative aims to double the number of volunteers supporting NHS patients, co-ordinate their work with that of paid staff and involve them in crucial areas such as discharge

For the family of a child with cancer, an overflowing garden shed or unruly lawn might not seem the most pressing of problems. But according to senior nurse David Widdas, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

‘One parent called it a job too far,’ says Mr Widdas, a consultant nurse in the children’s community nursing team at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. ‘They had this garden shed that had to be cleared, and they really needed the space. It’s the same for so many families – there’s something driving them mad, but they simply don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it.’

While it

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