We are a lively and active organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of many on Hayling Island. In 2019 we carried out over 3,500 tasks, including taking people to hospital, health centre and dental appointments, socail prescribing with our various home grown support groups and befriending visits. Around 100 people from all walks of life volunteer in various capacities,volunteer as hospital drivers, in our busy office , on our Front Desk Reception and helping in varying roles with the many support groups we run...We are always so pleased when new volounteers join our happy group , they make such a difference to the lives of so many ...
We have a Committee which oversees things and are always on the lookout for good ideas and ways to improve our services.
As we have been around a while, some of our history is lost in the mists of time, but here is what we do know.
36 years ago, Dr Stratford (then a GP with The Elms) realised there was a very great need for voluntary transport aiding patients to get to their medical appointments. Along with a wonderful lady, Belinda New, they set up HVS in portacabin on The Legion Field, sharing it with The Red Cross. Happily, they worked for the benefit of the Hayling Community for almost a year until the portacabin was burnt out by vandals. The Health Centre was relatively new and a few rooms were still vacant so Dr Stratford moved both HVS and The Red Cross into the Health Centre. HVS was allocated a small room just inside the entrance, affectionately known as “The Broom Cupboard” we are still in that same room all those years later.
Back to the past.... Belinda had by then a change of circumstances and the day to day running of HVS passed on to Peggy Howarth who rocked the cradle for years. Several times the organisation almost sunk, but Peggy was a formidable force and she stuck by her guns keeping things ticking over. Peggy eventually retired, but up until she passed away, she would still pop in to check that things were still in order and going well.
In 2009, HVS joined The Good Neighbours Network (GNN), part of the Diocese of Southampton and Portsmouth. They provide much needed support and we have never looked back. We have very strong ties with GNN, with their amazing team Canon Nick Ralph and Karen Jordan, who are always there for us in times of need. HVS Committees have come and gone, some very strong leaders put their hearts and souls into the work. A special mention to former chairmen; Rob Hack and Mike Brown for their contributions. We cannot forget to mention our very strongest supporter, former Councillor Andy Lengahan, who has done so much over the years for HVS. Councillor Issy Scott is very instrumental in helping our organistaion and we are very grateful for her continued support.
Currently HVS is led by Jack Tarr who took over the role from Lin Green who sttod down after 4 years as Chair . Today, HVS has around 100 volunteers and the demand for HVS services continues to grow. HVS took over the running of the Health Centre community desk early in 2017 after the NHS closed it. We supply hearing aid batteries, help patients with all their queries; how to book blood tests etc. The plum clad ladies report faults to maintenance, greet visitors, give out keys, sort the mail and generally do the work that would fall on the surgery staff shoulders leaving them to get on with their jobs, caring for the patients.
Our work is busy, it’s rewarding and no two days are ever the same. We have become a huge part of the community. We try to support other local charities by fund raising for various good causes. We currently have 32 volunteer drivers, some do a trip a month, 5 work almost every day, but we never have enough. Drivers’ mileage is paid for from the voluntary contributions that clients give us, but none of our team are paid, our time is given absolutely free of charge. We continue to grow and the demand for our help increases, but hopefully HVS will still be here for another 36 years or more.
We have forged a very close relationship with both of our Medical Practices, Elms and Waterside in our Health centre and we are also working with Emsworth Surgery. All 3 practices are joint partners working with Social Prescribing in our Communities.
2020 will hopefully see the start of Pulmonary Therapy on Hayling Island thanks to the hard work and persistence of Team Leader, Jack Tarr. He realised the need for Pulmonary Therapy to be brought to the Island because 5% of all patients on the Island have COPD and struggle to get to Waterlooville for their prescribed and essential treatment, often by public transport. Jack also saw the need to set up, with Amanda Kenyon (Waterside Medical Secretary) a Cancer Support Group for those who are affected in any way by this dreadful disease.
2020 will also see the first of HVS minibuses, meaning we will be able to help even more people in our community. Watch this space its exciting ...
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