During this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which runs 1- 7 June, the NHS in Leeds is thanking volunteers for their contributions across the city.
One such volunteer is Haris Sultan, who is passionate about helping young people share their voice in developing health and social care in Leeds. Through his ambition, Haris created the Leeds youth health and social care charter, with the support of the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The charter aims to be a mutual approach between senior leaders in the partnership and young people across the city. Haris has supported the CCG in gaining new knowledge and insight regarding young people and their health and care needs, and he has opened up more networks to support youth voice across the partnership.
Haris said: “Without volunteering I wouldn’t be where I am today; I started my journey as part of the Youth Board at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust as a volunteer, which then led to becoming youth representative on the CCG governing body. This is a voluntary role, ensuring that children and young people have a voice within health and social care. Volunteering allows me to give back to the community and has allowed me to develop skills and have opportunities I wouldn’t have had. If you have the chance to volunteer, take the plunge and do it, as it might lead you to places you wouldn’t previously see yourself.”
Haris led and devised the charter and as well as attending the CCG governing body meetings, bringing a youthful voice to represent young people. Haris is now working on how we can embed youth voice in the integrated care system across West Yorkshire, all being achieved as he studies to become a doctor himself.
Tim Ryley, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Leeds CCG said: “To enable us to ensure our work and services represent all our rich and diverse communities in Leeds, we must listen to all of those who make up our vibrant city. Haris is a remarkable young citizen who, alongside the arduous task of training to be a doctor, is giving up his spare time to ensure the needs of young people are reflected in our local plans. We are immensely grateful for his input.”
The CCG currently has nine volunteers who support the CCG by providing an independent patient and public representative voice. The volunteers work across different health priorities across the city, such as a project to transform mental health services, the development of a stroke strategy and support with procuring services.
Find out more about what the CCG volunteers do in the get involved section of our website.