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A group of volunteers and staff pictured in Frimley Park's A&E departmentFrimley Park Hospital’s emergency department volunteers have scooped a prestigious national award.

They were named Outstanding Volunteering Team of the Year in the first ever Helpforce Champions awards.

Helpforce is a non-profit organisation which aims to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and communities through the power of volunteering.

The awards recognise the diverse contributions made by volunteers across the country.

Three representatives from Frimley Park’s 20-strong team of ED volunteers attended the recent ceremony in London, accompanied by voluntary services manager Mike Stone.

Helpforce founder Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett visited Frimley Park and paid tribute to their work.

He said: “I’m in awe of the volunteering at Frimley Park generally, and particularly in the emergency areas where great stress is experienced, where staff are unbelievably busy and volunteers can make a real difference.”

Frimley’s ED volunteers have been helping emergency department staff for six years, supporting patients and relatives. Tasks include making hot drinks, changing beds and assisting appropriate patients at meal times and through discharge.

Lead volunteer Helen Apsimon said the team were “delighted and surprised” to win the award.

She said: “It was fantastic to attend the ceremony and hear about the amazing work other volunteers do.”