Health & Social Care Staff Health & Social Care Staff

Volunteering

Volunteers can complement the department you work in and enhance the service you provide to patients and visitors by taking on a broad range of roles. As well as being a great experience for the volunteers, having them in your department will allow you to explore new ways of working and adapt or improve your service.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Enhance your Service

Enhance your Service

Volunteers can enhance the service you provide. Having volunteers supporting you allows you to focus on your core role, while they provide care to patients in other ways, such as chatting to them, playing games or guiding them from place to place.

Explore & Discover New Ways of Working

Explore & Discover New Ways of Working

Have you ever wanted to explore new ways of working or try a new approach to your care? Having volunteers there gives you the time and capacity to implement those ideas, and they may even be able to offer their support or services.

Supervisory Experience

Supervisory Experience

Volunteers usually require an assigned supervisor in the department who they take guidance from and report to. This supervisory experience can be very beneficial to you in terms of your Continued Personal Development as you gain managerial experience.

Benefits the Volunteer

Benefits the Volunteer

Volunteers stand to gain in many different ways by working with you. They may be looking to gain valuable insight into a career in Health and Social Care or they may be looking for a rewarding social activity. Being a part of this will also greatly benefit you and grow your confidence as a mentor.

What does it involve?

Volunteer Roles

There are a wide range of volunteering roles in Health and Social Care, all tailored to complement existing services. The list below will give you a few ideas, but there’s also a lot of room for creativity when designing a volunteer role!

Not a Replacement for Staff

Volunteers are not meant to provide a service that replicates that of paid staff or a recently decommissioned service. Using volunteers in the same capacity as paid employees can put those employees’ roles at risk and is an abuse of your position.

Supervision

If you’re thinking of hosting a volunteer in your department, make sure you consider what the supervision arrangements will be when they’re working with you. Just like other staff, volunteers will need support, briefing, and for someone to monitor their activities.

Expenses

Most organisations hosting volunteers will cover their travel expenses. Rates and processes will vary, but in most cases the organisation will have a pot for volunteer expense claims. Occasionally it may come from departmental budget.

Commitment

Hosting a volunteer requires commitment on your part as well as theirs. When considering whether to host a volunteer, remember they will be a part of your department 3-4 hours a week for 6 months or more, and they'll probably be full of questions!

Becoming a volunteer

Interview & Registration

Interview & Registration

The pre-volunteering process

Volunteers will usually need to complete a registration process, which involves: an interview, an identity check, criminal record check (DBS), training and an occupational health assessment. Your volunteering department may be able to complete this on your behalf.

This process can take up to two months, so you might not be able to get volunteers started right away. In some organisations, volunteers will spend time working in an introductory role such as Wayfinding before progressing to something more complex.

Role Description

Role Description

What will they be doing?

It’s important to let your future volunteers know what their key responsibilities will be. Your volunteering department may have an existing description for the role you have in mind, or they can send you a template to complete.

Where do I start?

Where do I start?

There is likely to be a Volunteering Policy in place at your organisation and an assigned Volunteering Lead; this will be the best person to talk to about the role you have in mind.