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Please not this photo was taken pre-COVID

Hywel Dda University Health Board has sent a heartfelt thank you to volunteers for their support during the past year.

As part of National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), the health board is keen to highlight the crucial support provided by volunteers across the three counties, particularly with the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Volunteers have been responsible for a wide range of support, from helping at vaccination centres to driving people to hospital appointments.

Volunteer Fiona Marsden, from Little Haven, said: “At the start of the pandemic I was keen to become an NHS volunteer. I've found it a positive and rewarding experience. Initially my role was delivering food parcels to families who were shielding. Since January I have been volunteering at the mass vaccination centres in Cardigan and Haverfordwest. It’s been great to witness at first hand the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of people across the health board pulling together to make something truly remarkable happen.”

Meanwhile, Wynne Evans from Milford Haven, said: “Volunteering since COVID-19 has been a wonderful experience, as you feel you are doing a valued role to help people during COVID-19, and the public truly appreciate the good work all our volunteers do.”

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda UHB, sent a personal letter to all volunteers who have supported the health board. She said: “I am writing to extend a heartfelt thank you for the time, patience and commitment you have given as a volunteer. I am so grateful for your hard work, particularly during such a challenging time as the pandemic. Your contribution is deeply appreciated and is essential in allowing us to deliver services.

“Your support has been so valuable in enabling us to run the mass vaccination centres, field hospitals and other services, to provide the best possible care for our patients and communities.”

She also paid tribute to all those people who would have volunteered in normal times but have been unable to do so due to their personal circumstances, such have having to shield.