In February 2009, Foodstuffs South Island Community Trust became a major sponsor of St John Friends of the Emergency Department (FED), Hospital Friends and Hospital Hosts.
These services are delivered by trained St John volunteers and focus on providing non-clinical assistance and support to hospital patients, as well as the family and friends who are accompanying them.
The generous funding from Foodstuffs South Island has enabled a major expansion of existing services, so that we can help more patients who need a friend in hospital. Currently, around 230 St John volunteers work more than 30,000 hours a year to help people in hospital in the South Island.
Since the sponsorship began there have been a number of new initiatives:
- Hospital Friends has been introduced at Oamaru Hospital
- Hospital Friends and Hospital Hosts have been introduced at Dunedin Hospital
- Friends of the Emergency Department has been introduced at Wairau Hospital in Blenheim
- Hospital Friends has been introduced at the Children’s Services department of Invercargill Hospital
- The potential for three further services in the South Island is currently being explored
More about the services
- Friends of the Emergency Department (FED) is the main hospital volunteer service provided by St John. Volunteers are based in the emergency department and provide non-clinical assistance and support to patients and their relatives or friends who are accompanying them.
- Hospital Friends is a service that may be provided in addition to FEDs in nominated wards or in smaller hospitals where there may be no emergency department. Volunteers provide support to patients with a friendly chat and non-clinical assistance as necessary.
- Hospital Hosts are based in the hospital foyer area. Volunteers support both patients and visitors with directions to appointments and hospital amenities.
St John greatly appreciates the support that Foodstuffs Community Trust has given to these services and the volunteers who provide them.
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