Become a volunteer
Welcome to the Volunteers Services Department at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust. We currently have a number of volunteers in the trust, including members of the public, service users and carers. Volunteers can offer a range of skills and experience to help the trust and complement our staff. Anyone aged over 16 (18 and over in clinical areas) can volunteer.
You will need to:
- Have an initial telephone conversation with a member of our team
- Complete all of the application documentation
- Have a DBS check
- Receive Occupational Health clearance (through a health questionnaire)
- Attend a full day Trust induction
- Provide details of referee/s (they must have known you for the past three years and not be a family member)
Volunteers are required to be able to volunteer for a minimum of six months, but they are only required to commit to 3 - 4 hours per week in one session.
We have opportunities across a wide range of roles and departments. For example, you could be a ward activity assistant, do some reception work, be a service volunteer. Or maybe you would prefer to be administrative or clerical support, a ward visitor or help with the Chaplaincy, or an events helper. Volunteers get involved with baby clinics, tea shops, trolley services, dining companions and are often meet and greeters or help with the PAT dogs and Macmillan support.
Accident & Emergency
Cath Lab (Royal Stoke only)
General wards and departments
Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre
Meet and Greet
Newspaper deliveries (Royal Stoke only)
Procedure suite (Royal Stoke only)
Volunteer posts are also available in other areas, but there may be some differences or restrictions. Please see below for information:
- Fresh Hair Salon (We are waiting for an updated role outline and will add this ASAP)
- Coffee Bar (See League of Friends (County Hospital) www.staffordandcannocklof.org for more information)
- Hospital Radio (See Hospital Radio - www.hrstafford.org.uk for more information)
- Pets as Therapy (These roles are only available through registering with the Pets as Therapy Association. See www.petsastherapy.org for more information)
- Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) (Royal Stoke) www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk
There are many benefits from volunteering, including:
contributing to other people’s wellbeing;
personal achievement in accomplishing tasks;
increasing confidence and self esteem;
meeting new people andreducing isolation;
learning new skills andknowledge;
benefits to volunteers’ health and wellbeing;
encouraging personal pride and fulfilment—the feeling of being valued;
What skills do I need to become a volunteer?
You have many great skills, you just might not realise it! We are looking for individuals who have the desire to help others, are positive, caring and sensitive to the needs of others. You might also have some other skills - maybe you are good on the telephone, confident with wayfinding or organised enough to undertake some administration duties. We can help you use these skills to support patients and visitors to the Trust. You can help us to make such a difference to their visit
What age do I have to be to volunteer?
Volunteers have to be at least 17 years of age. There is no upper age limit as long as you can fulfill your role safely. If you are under 17 years of age you may be interested in exploring Work Experience opportunities.
How much time do I have to give to volunteering?
We ask that you make a regular commitment of three hours a week (in one session) for at least six months.
What training is involved?
All new volunteers will be asked to attend a Volunteers Induction Training Day before they can start volunteering. This will ensure you are sufficiently able to undertake your role, as well as informed about the Trust's vision and values. The training will also offer you valuable insight into good practices, such as why we need to maintain and respect confidentiality, what to do in a fire situation and how to support good infection control practices to reduce harm to yourself and patients. In addition, there is other training such as such as Manual Handling, Dementia Training, Feeding Training & additional Fire Training.
Can I still go on holiday or have time off?
We appreciate that you need to take time off for holidays or exams etc. All we ask is that you keep us informed.
What will I get out of volunteering?
An opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge
An amazing opportunity to make a real difference
Make new friends
Fill your time and meet new people
Learn more about your local hospital and all the services it provides
Out of pocket expenses
Free car parking whilst volunteering
Experience which may help with looking for a new job or new opportunities
What do I need to wear?
Trust volunteers will be required to wear either a yellow polo shirt or a yellow tabard (these are provided free of charge by the Trust). Trust volunteers can choose to wear a top of their own preference in a shade of yellow (which they must purchase/pay for themselves). Some other Volunteer organisations/volunteers in specific roles may be required to wear an alternative uniform.
Will I get a job after finishing my volunteering?
A volunteer placement does not guarantee employment at the end of the placement, but it may support your application for employment.
How long will the process to become a volunteer take?
The process normally takes on average between 4 – 6 weeks.
What things are volunteers not able to do?
Do not administer food, drinks or medication to patients.
Do not engage in hands on contact with patients.
Do not observe or engage in any type of patient treatment such as bathing, toileting or clinical activities.
Volunteers must always check with the ward before assisting with delivery of meals and drinks to patients.
I am a student looking for a placement in healthcare. Can I do my placement with UHNM?
We are unable to arrange student placements through volunteer services. Please contact the work experience department for more information on how to apply.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
If you are on benefits, you can be a volunteer and in most cases, your benefits will not be affected. However, there are some cases where your benefits can be affected – for example, if you receive a subsistence allowance. You must always talk to Job Centre Plus before you start any volunteering if you are receiving benefits.
Meet our volunteers
"I started volunteering at County Hospital eight years ago. It's a lovely job that ranges from making teas and coffees in the morning to engaging with patients and making them feel comfortable during their time on the ward. I feel quite privileged to be able to interact with them and some of the stories are fascinating.
"I think the role of volunteers is a necessary one for any modern hospital and it's a lovely feeling to be able to give something back and be a part of something so wonderful. Volunteering can be a really valuable introduction into healthcare for people who may be considering a career in the profession. If you're committed and enthusiastic, then it's an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience."
"As a student at Keele University I was looking for opportunities in the local area for volunteering. I study Biomedical Science so there's an obvious benefit to volunteering with regards to my course, as I'm able to see patients in situ in an acute hospital and see how the diagnostic technology works. However, I'm equally as enthused by the chance to just help out and support the amazing work of the A&E team.
"I really just try my best to help support and alleviate some of the pressure that the team is under. I help provide drinks for patients and relatives and re-stock various items so the clinical teams can carry on with their daily duties. It's a very fast paced and enjoyable environment and it's really interesting to be able to interact with patients who pass through the department. There are obviously lots of students living on campus and in the local area who study at Keele, and to any of them who may be thinking about volunteering I would wholeheartedly say, do it!"
Barry and Anne Pettit
Barry volunteers at County Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.
He said: "One of the reasons I started volunteering is the social aspect. I've worked all my life alongside people and within a team so when I retired I really missed that camaraderie. Volunteering is a great way to recapture that whilst helping out for a great cause. Volunteering is very rewarding as it provides a great opportunity to interact with other people, whilst giving back to the community."
Anne volunteers at the Fresh Hair Salon at County, which is based on the Chemotherapy Unit.
She said: "I'm a receptionist at the Fresh Hair salon, which means that I help meet and greet patients who are here to have their wigs fitted whilst also assisting those who want to buy other items such as hats and scarves. I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering. If anybody is thinking about getting involved then I would encourage them to speak to the volunteering team at UHNM and find out how you can be a part of something really special."
"I volunteer in the Cath Lab and typically, my shift is on Tuesday's from 9:30am to 15:00pm. It's a really interesting and enjoyable role that enables me to speak and interact with a variety of different people before they undergo their procedures. Most of the time my role involves providing support for patients even if that's just something simple like talking to them or making a tea or coffee. Sometimes being able to talk to a non-clinical member of staff can be quite comforting for a patient before their procedure and I think they really value the support during what can be a nervous time.
"I spend 15-20 minutes making tea and talking to patients in the waiting area, which is valuable time staff can spend with patients who are coming out of procedures. I would encourage anyone who is considering volunteering to come along and see if there any opportunities available. Not only does it look great on your CV, but it also helps give you a real insight into the NHS. I know it's a bit of a cliché, but it's really rewarding to finish each shift and know that you've been able to give something back."