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Volunteer's Week 2021

Neil Mortensen

03 Jun 2021

Professor Neil Mortensen

Over the past year, trainees throughout the health and care sector have missed multiple opportunities to learn and upskill. Surgical trainees especially, have spent little or no time in theatre, missing out on the important hands-on experience that is key to developing into a confident and capable surgeon.

Despite the many setbacks caused by the pandemic, the College has managed to deliver 470 courses since January 2020. These courses have provided trainees with vital education on the management of critically ill patients, experience of handling trauma cases and have ensured they have the basic surgical skills to assist in theatre. We couldn’t have done this without the dedication of thousands of volunteers.

Faculty from across the UK have given their time to travel to one of our more than 140 regional centres, to give their time for surgical education. And they continue to do so. Our courses are taught by a wide range of professionals, from specialty trainees, to anaesthetists and other members of the surgical care team, as well as SAS surgeons and retired fellows. We also have a team of dedicated faculty internationally, helping us to run our world-class courses in 11 countries across the globe.

For National Volunteers Week this June, the College has been celebrating the work of our volunteers with a number of faculty profiles on the RCS England Instagram page. They tell us more about what it’s like to be a faculty member, and why it’s such a rewarding role throughout the week of 1–7 June. 

Of course, our faculty aren’t the only volunteers we have at the College. Our Council, committees and forums are all made up of dedicated fellows and members, as well as patients and other healthcare professionals. Our members regularly give their time to support working groups, campaigns and projects, such as our Sustainability in Surgery Group. The College is keen to build a community of faculty who can act as role models to course participants and represent the diversity of people who work in surgery, and we welcome volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of experience.

They say one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. This is certainly true of our faculty. So, during Volunteers Week, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you, our volunteers, for your commitment to the College, to surgery and to improving patient care. Thank you. 

Find out more about how to become a member of our faculty, or email us at to learn more about the opportunities available at RCS England

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