People with a passion for seeing local health and social care services changed for the better are being sought by the county’s independent health and social care champion.

Healthwatch Gloucestershire, which has an important role in assessing the quality of local health and social care services and influencing the design of future services, is looking for local people to join its Local Board and who will help the team shape their workplan.

Julia Butler-Hunt, Healthwatch Gloucestershire Manager, explained: “We welcome interest from all sections of the local community.  We’re looking for local people with a passionate interest in helping the local community shape the way their health and social care services are run.

“Although not essential, if people have knowledge or experience in social care, children and young people, mental health, equalities and diversity this would be beneficial.”

Local Board members will oversee and contribute to the work programme and play a crucial role in monitoring its delivery.  They also play a part in supporting the organisation to adhere to its principles, purpose and vision, ensuring that it operates in a moral and ethical way.

“Volunteering increases your confidence”

Eileen Morrison, a previous Local Board member, is a great believer in the benefits of volunteering and revealed the reasons why she volunteered with Healthwatch Gloucestershire: “I want to improve access to good quality health and social care services in Gloucestershire.”

Former student Kay Campbell is also encouraging others in the county to consider volunteering with Healthwatch Gloucestershire.  She says she found her ideal job thanks to volunteering.

The 30-year-old from Gloucester finished a degree in Public Health in 2014 and had been job-hunting for a career in this field.  Kay explained: “I decided to volunteer because I wasn’t getting the job I wanted and so I could use my degree.  I got involved in a local research project and through this I got a job thanks in part to my volunteering experience!

“Volunteering is a great way of opening many doors.  I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering and currently looking for a job – if you need to improve your career path, volunteering is a great way to start.

“Healthwatch has also helped me to see the great potential within myself.  I get to meet new faces every day and on top of this I’m gaining so many experiences.  Volunteering is the best thing that could ever happened to me.”

Interested?

Local Board meetings are held every month.  In addition, members will need to spend about two days a month on Local Board matters, plus emails and occasional meetings, both day-time and evening.  The role is voluntary, but all out of pocket expenses will be covered.  The term of office will be for an initial period of two years, with an option to extend by a further two years.

For more information about the post and specific responsibilities of a Local Board member
Please download a recruitment pack from www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/about/vacancies, or telephone 01452 504989, or email our Volunteer Officer: george.soars@healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk