Volunteers - FAQs

Volunteer05-300What do volunteers do?
  • Enhance the care provided by the hospital staff
  • Make patients' stays less stressful and more comfortable, and so help speed their recovery
  • Allow staff more time to concentrate on the tasks they have been trained for
Where do volunteers fit in?
  • They support the staff by undertaking simple activities on the wards or in departments
  • They help the public find their way to their destination and by doing so help ease their anxiety, whether they are a patient or a visitor
  • Some roles can help the patient be discharged home earlier in the day
  • They can simply provide patients with vital company - especially those who have no one to visit them
  • Volunteers learn about the hospital and can pass that on to friends, family and neighbours - often allaying their anxieties and concerns
What might I enjoy about volunteering?
  • Meeting new people
  • Making friends
  • A sense of belonging
  • Being able to give something back to the community
  • Learning new skills
  • An opportunity to attend training sessions
  • A 'stepping stone' into healthcare
  • Looking at a possible new career direction
  • An annual social event
Who can volunteer?
  • We welcome all volunteers from age 16 upwards, whatever your background
  • There is no upper age limit, providing you are reasonably fit
  • All volunteers are recruited via a similar process to paid staff, which includes the need for occupational health screening, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly CRB) checks and attending any necessary training
How much time do I have to give?
  • Volunteers are needed mornings, afternoons and evenings every day of the week
  • You can offer as much time as you wish to give
  • All we ask is that you are prepared to give a minimum of three hours per week
Volunteer04-300I'm 72, am I too old to become a volunteer?

Certainly not!

We accept volunteers from the age of 16 and we have no upper age limit, so long as you are reasonably fit.

Do I have to have any special experience or skills?

Not at all.

Just being able to give your time and wanting to help is all that's needed.

Often something as simple as a cheery disposition is just what we are looking for.

Volunteers undertake a number of different roles and their work is shaped by the skills and knowledge that they bring; enhancing and extending the professional care given to patients.

Will I have to have an interview?

All volunteers are recruited along similar lines to our paid staff.

This will include an 'interview' which is really an informal one-to-one meeting with a member of the Voluntary Services Team.

This will allow us to get to know you and 'match' you with an appropriate role whilst giving you an opportunity to ask all the questions you have.

Will I have to have a medical to become a volunteer?

You may need to.

You will be required to complete a health questionnaire, which may or may not lead to an appointment with the nurse or doctor - it will depend on your answers to the questions on the form.

Do I have to be able to give a lot of time?

Not really.

We like people to be able to give at least three hours per week.

We're grateful for all the time you spare, but it works better for most roles if you can give a regular time commitment.

We only accept placements for a minimum of six months.  The recruitment process takes several weeks and therefore is too time consuming for only short periods of service.

Flexibility can be discussed at the interview.

Will I need to be checked by the police?

Yes you will.

All volunteers are required to be checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly CRB), in order to protect the vulnerable adults and children we deal with. 

Will I need to undergo any training?

All volunteers have to attend up to a day and a half Trust Induction or complete a workbook before they start. Training is given for certain roles, such as the feeding team.

Refresher training is required annually.

Am I guaranteed a voluntary placement?

We have a variety of placement opportunities so we always need volunteers, but we do have a duty to recruit and place volunteers in a way which ensures safety for all concerned.

We will do our best to match you with a suitable role.

However, there are also areas where placements are limited and quickly filled, such as maternity, paediatrics and physiotherapy, so it is worth checking if you have a specific choice of placement area.

Will I be asked to do something I don't want to do?

No, because we have a clear description of each voluntary role, and this is agreed before you start.

What can I do?

There are lots of things!

Please see Volunteering Opportunities for details.

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