Volunteers are needed to support older people at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is working in partnership to develop an on-ward service to improve the wellbeing of older patients during their stay.

To provide this service, the charity is looking for volunteers to be part of the on-ward team, working alongside the nursing and medical staff to support patients at the hospital.

Volunteers will help create a calm environment for patients, providing companionship and reassurance, relieving boredom, reading, arts and crafts and a whole host of other activities. Kim Snape, service assistant for the Royal Voluntary Service on-ward scheme, said: “This is a really important service for older patients at the hospital.

“The volunteers can look forward to making a real difference to those people with long-term conditions; small acts of kindness such as taking the time to have a chat and reading a book have a big impact on the wellbeing of patients. We know our volunteers receive a huge amount of pleasure from their work and get as much out of volunteering as they put in.”

Denise Morris, public health co-ordinator at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Chorley hospital and Royal Preston hospital, said: “This is a great initiative and we are pleased to be working with the Royal Voluntary Service. Volunteers are a real asset to our teams and help staff to look after our older patients.

“Activities such as chatting to patients, reading with them or playing cards with them really helps to keep patients physically and mentally active and sociable, which is so important for the elderly and is part of a wider initiative that we have launched in our hospitals to improve care for our older patients.”

Volunteers will be needed seven days a week and the charity is asking that they give a minimum of two hours on the day they attend.

The service is commencing at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, with plans to extend to Royal Preston Hospital later in the year.