An update on Small Acts of Friendship from Friends Trustee Chris Rendel:
When Small Acts of Friendship was launched in 2017, all we had was a vision, a fundraising target, and one person, Paola O’Sullivan, the newly hired coordinator.
Today we have a team of 15, mostly volunteers, offering hairdressing, hand massage, befriending, poetry, art, music and even sing alongs to patients in the Elderly Care Wards at Royal Sussex County hospital.
We are about to add manicures, facials and a barber, as well as some weekend volunteers. We estimate that over 1,100 patients will have benefited from Small Acts in its first year.
The CQC in its recent report gave an outstanding rating to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for Patient Care, citing Small Acts of Friendship as a contributor to it.
Chief Nurse Nicola Ranger commented: ‘We are grateful to the Friends for all their support in helping to create and fund this initiative. It is making a real difference’.
In the second year we plan to build on what we have learned from experience, and from the independent research being carried out by Brighton and Sussex Medical School to make Small Acts even better, adding new services all the time. We will grow the team, and we expect more than 2,700 patients to benefit from Small Acts during 2019.
At the request of the Medical team we are also going to fund the creation of two Swan rooms, peaceful and private places for patients and their relatives to use at the very end of life.
We are also going to engage more with the outside community, with care providers, voluntary organisations and social groups and clubs, so when they leave hospital our patients can go into a more supportive and friendly environment.
If you would like to know more about SAF you can see a short film on our homepage.
Working with the NHS across Brighton & Hove by raising money for equipment and services to support patient well-being.