The IiV is the UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers in their work, meaning that Healthwatch has been recognised for having good recruitment, training and support for its volunteers.
The volunteers – called community listeners within the organisation – help to gather people’s experiences of health and social services at community and health events across the region. Healthwatch then shares this feedback with managers of local services and works alongside them to improve and involve communities in the changes made.
Work towards the award began in September 2019, but the assessment – involving interviews with 19 volunteers and staff – took place during lockdown.
Heather Lord, volunteer manager at Healthwatch, said: “It’s fantastic news and we can’t wait to celebrate with our volunteers – even though in the current circumstances, we can’t all get together in person.
“It’s a nationally-recognised award from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and demonstrates we are a great place to volunteer as we value and support our volunteers.
“The award is a real boost for our whole team. We are really proud of what our volunteers do and help us to achieve.”
Healthwatch Peterborough is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services in the city.
Volunteers described working with Healthwatch as positive, saying the organisation was very supportive, welcoming and confidence-building.