Volunteering

If you would like to become a Hospital Volunteer please see the attached registration and equal opportunities forms on the right hand side in the related downloads section if you can send these to the address at the bottom of the form, we will process your application. Or if you would like to find out a bit more information on volunteering and on the application process please contact: volunteering@burtonft.nhs.uk or alternatively call 01283 511511 Ext 2301.

Hospital Volunteers Aamina, Margaret and Bimasal supporting Sharon, Activities Coordinator with patients on Ward 44

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has more than 200 hospital volunteers across our three sites at:

Queen’s Hospital, Burton upon Trent

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital, Lichfield

Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital, Tamworth

Volunteers make a unique and valuable contribution to our hospitals. They help to complement the experience of our patients, visitors and staff, and the Trust appreciates the difference they make.  Volunteers are not directly involved in patient care, but are welcomed in many departments and wards where they help provide support to enhance the care we provide to our patients and their relatives and visitors.

Volunteers do not shadow clinical staff or carry out work experience.  If you are interested in work experience please contact our Work Experience section.

Why volunteer?

Volunteering attracts a wide range of people from a variety of backgrounds.  People choose to volunteer with the Trust for various reasons, such as to:

  • give something back to the hospital for the care they have received or a member of their family or friend has received
  • contribute to the local community
  • put good work-related and people skills to use, after retiring
  • gain experience and skills to further develop their career. A number of our volunteers go on to study medicine, nursing or work in health and social care. 

What do hospital volunteers do?  Our volunteer roles include:

  • Ward Visitors - help make patients hospital stay more comfortable by chatting, listening, running an errand, help at mealtimes by serving meals and drinks. There is also an opportunity to get involved with activities for patients suffering with dementia with crafts, games and singing.
  • Outpatient Clinic Volunteers - help make patients’ visits as smooth and comfortable as possible by chatting, listening to them, making cups of tea, plus fetching and carrying notes to various clinics.
  • Wayfinding/Welcomers – meet and greet patients and visitors, giving directions and escorting them to where they need to go to.
  • Patient Experience Surveys – Join our volunteer survey team by undertaking surveys with patients on wards and clinic areas or take part in focus groups or forums.  It is vital that the Trust, listens to patients and we can only do this if we get feedback from them.
  • Chaplaincy Visitors – offering pastoral care and spiritual support for patients, relatives and staff under the guidance of the Head of Spiritual Services, Alison Thorp.
  • Macmillan Cancer Information & Centre Volunteers – support the running of the centre by ensuring it is well stocked with information for patients and families affected by cancer and providing a warm welcome.
  • Coffee Shop Volunteers – preparing and serving refreshments to patients, staff and visitors in the coffee@queens coffee shop.
  • Administration Support - filing, photocopying, shredding, making up information packs.

What skills do I need to be 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 unique skills, maybe great telephone skills, good with wayfinding or confident with undertaking some administration duties. Or you may be good with crafts, knitting or sewing, which could be activites that our patients might like to do.   We can help you utilise all these skills to support patients and visitors to the Trust and you will make such a difference to their visit.

What age do you 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 fulfil your role safely.   If you are under 17 years of age you may be interested in joining the Youth Forum (see link to flyer).

How much time do I have to give to volunteering?

We ask that you make a regular commitment of at least 2-4 hours for at least 6 months.

What training is involved to become a volunteer?

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 and 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.

We will also expect you to refresh your training and you will be provided with a training record for you to keep, to ensure you remain compliant as it is your responsibility to ensure your training is up to date.

Can I still go on holiday?  Have time off?

We appreciate that you need to take time off for holidays or exams etc.  As long as you keep us informed there is no problem with this.    

What’s involved in applying to be a volunteer?

  • Complete and return a Volunteer Registration and Equal Opportunities Monitoring form to the Volunteers Coordinator (address below).
  • If you are selected you will be invited to a Volunteer Information/Interest Session
  • Attend and find out more about the process and what you can do.
  • Complete DBS (Disclosure & Barring Screen) check.
  • Complete Occupational Health form.
  • Provide 2 x references. It is important that anyone you ask to give you a reference has known you for 2 years or more, and you are not related to them (so it can’t be a family member).  
  • Attend a Volunteers Induction Training day at Queen’s Hospital Burton. If you are successful we will also expect that you attend any mandatory training required by the Trust.

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
  • Be appreciated
  • A reference after volunteering for at least 6 months
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Free car parking whilst volunteering
  • Experience which may help with looking for a new job or new opportunities

Things to keep in mind:

  • The volunteer process has several steps all of which take some time.
  • It may take up to 8-10 weeks from attending a Volunteer Information/Interest Session before you can start volunteering due to DBS, Occupational Health clearance, references and attending a Volunteers Induction Training Day.
  • Submitting a volunteer registration form does not guarantee you will be accepted as a volunteer, we need to ensure volunteering at the Trust is right for you and us

Who do I need to talk to?

For further information please contact:

Simon Passam
Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Queen’s Hospital Burton
Belvedere Road
Burton on Treny
Staffs  DE13 0RB
01283 511511 x2301

volunteering@burtonft.nhs.uk

If you are visiting the Trust please ask one of our many volunteers who will be happy to talk about the roles they undertake and what they get out of it!

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  • Top 40 Hospital Winner
  • NHS Choices
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  • Burton Clinic