Voluntary Services: FAQs

Voluntary Services logo 175What do volunteers do?

  • They support the staff by undertaking simple activities on the wards or in other 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

Interested in Volunteering? leaflet 172x323What can I do?

There are lots of things!

Please download our Volunteering leaflet (pictured right) to find out more. 

How do volunteers help the Trust?

  • 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
  • Volunteers learn about the hospital and can pass that on to friends, family and neighbours - often allaying their anxieties and concerns

What could volunteering offer me?

  • Meet new people
  • Make friends
  • A sense of belonging
  • Be able to give something back to the community
  • Learn new skills
  • An opportunity to undertake training
  • A 'stepping stone' into healthcare
  • A possible new career direction
  • An annual social event

Who can volunteer?

  • Anyone from age 16 upwards, whatever your background
  • There is no upper age limit, providing you are reasonably fit

How much time do I have to give?

  • Volunteers are needed mornings, afternoons and evenings seven days a week. We will work with you to arrange a mutually convenient slot for volunteering and you will be never be asked to work through the night
  • You can offer as much time as you are able to give
  • We ask for a minimum of three hours per week

Am I too old to become a volunteer?

There is no upper age limit, so long as you are reasonably fit. 

Do I have to have any special experience or skills?

Just being able to give your time and wanting to help is what we need.

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 in a similar way to paid staff, which includes the need for occupational health screening, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly CRB) checks and attending any necessary training

This will include an informal 'interview' with members of the Voluntary Services Team.

We do this so that we can get to know you and find a suitable role, as well as giving you a chance to ask any questions. 

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

You will be required to fill out a health questionnaire, and depending on your answers, you may need a medical. 

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

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. 

Placements are for a minimum of six months.

Flexibility can be discussed at your interview. 

Will I need to be checked by the police?

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

Will I need to undergo any training?

All volunteers are asked to complete mandatory training online.  Further 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, each voluntary role has a clear description, which is agreed before you start.

Further information

If you have any more questions, please contact us.

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