The volunteer’s service helps enhance the experience of our patients and visitors when they visit our hospitals. Volunteers make a valuable contribution to the Trust through their knowledge, skills and experience, which complements the work of the staff.
Volunteering can have huge benefits not just for the Trust but also the volunteer, such as:
- Gaining satisfaction through helping others
- Being involved with a major service to the local community
- Gaining experience of working in a busy hospital
- Building confidence
- The opportunity to meets lots of new friends and be part of a team
- Developing your CV and improving your employability
What kind of work can a volunteer do?
Volunteers can work in many different areas of the hospital, including:
- Mealtime volunteer – Assisting vulnerable patients at mealtimes.
- Befrienders – Providing a friendly face, a chat and helping keep our patients company during their stay at hospital
- Patient surveys - this involves visiting wards and inviting patients to complete a survey
- Mobile Library trolley service – Visiting wards and offering books to patients
- Meet and greet – Welcoming visitors to our Trust and helping with way finding
- A&E volunteer – Welcoming visitors to the department, offering assistance in queue control, direction and general enquiries
Children’s outpatient department volunteer – greeting families, assisting with general enquiries, working alongside receptionists and to help keep the area tidy
Volunteers are provided with a job description for the role they are placed in.
Volunteers do not replace or cover for paid workers. They are there to work alongside paid staff to help enhance the patient and visitor experience. This also allows staff to devote more of their precious time to patients.
We will always do our best to match your placement as closely to your preference as we can. We hope to offer you, what will be a rewarding and pleasurable experience. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a placement of your first choice.
We welcome people from all backgrounds and abilities.
The minimum age to volunteer is 18 years. There is no upper limit.
No experience is needed, just a positive, cheerful and reliable character is required.
We accept any amount of time you can offer. Generally volunteers work between Monday and Friday for 3 – 4 hours at least once a week; some do more but this is entirely up to you. There are also limited evening opportunities available. We try to arrange the hours to suit the volunteer.
All the Trust asks is that you commit to the time that is agreed when you start your placement and that you inform the Department Head if you are going to be absent.
Due to the time and resources it takes to process applications, we hope that you can commit to your volunteering role for at least 6 months.
Thank you for your interest, if you are considering being a volunteer please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with 'volunteers' in the subject line.
We will send you our Welcome Pack which includes an application form for completion. You must disclose any previous convictions to the Voluntary Services Coordinator at the time of application.
We also need two references from you. When all the checks are completed, you will be invited for an informal interview. This is a chance for us to meet, to get to know you and discuss the kind of placement that would best benefit the Trust and yourself.
It is very important that we complete all the checks. Being a hospital Trust we deal with vulnerable people. The Trust has an obligation to protect them by ensuring that we take all possible measures to keep them safe. Completing all these checks can sometimes take a number of weeks, so we ask applicants to be patient while we process your application.
It is not possible for us to accept all applications and they are considered at the discretion of the voluntary services department. We maintain the right to reject applications.
- You will be required to complete all training that is relevant to your position. The mandatory training is completed on-line. we can provide assistance with this for anybody that is not computer literate. You will be provided with any on the job training that is needed for you to carry out the duties outlined in your role description.
- You will be provided with a Volunteers Handbook with useful information and you will have a department induction when you commence your placement.
- Volunteers can claim travel expenses (either by car up to 10 miles each way or public transport up to £5.00 a day).
- Volunteers are provided with a tea/coffee voucher. If you work for more than four hours in any one day, you will be issued with a voucher, currently £2.50, towards any purchase from the restaurant.
- Any volunteers that drive are also entitled to free car parking at the hospital on their agreed days to volunteer.
- Trust ID badges are issued for all volunteers and must be worn on site at all times for security reasons.
- Uniform will be issued if required, otherwise smart dress (no jeans or trainers) must be worn.
The Trust greatly appreciates the gift of valuable time that all of our volunteers provide to help patients, visitors and staff at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.