HUNDREDS of volunteers working across the NHS have been praised for their help within the organisation.

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust chairman Ingrid Barker paid tribute as National Volunteers Week got underway on Sunday.

“Our 300 volunteers are an essential part of the trust and help maintain vital links between services and the people of Gloucestershire,” she said.

“We are fortunate to have the support of a large and committed number of volunteers who do outstanding work to support the trust and whose connection with their community gives a greater understanding of the people we serve.”

National Volunteers Week highlight the fantastic contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.

Janet Smith has been volunteering at Stroud General Hospital for 10 years.

She wanted to give something back having received a fantastic service from the hospital throughout her life.

Ms Smith said: “The reason I got involved was because this hospital has been important to me my whole life.

“I was here 71 years ago as a three year old when I stayed for three months with a fractured skull.

“When I was 19 I had my appendix out there – I was in for 10 days. Such a procedure is now a day case.

“My son was born at this hospital.

“When my husband was very ill he received great support here and for all these reasons I can’t speak highly enough of the NHS and the brilliant work the hospital do.”