Professionals Professionals

Volunteering

There are a vast number of volunteer roles in the Health and Social Care sector. From visiting elderly people in their homes to fundraising for a vital new piece of hospital equipment, every volunteer helps to enhance the services we provide and improve the wellbeing of the people we help.

Volunteering is a perfect way for learners to understand first hand the work done in the sector and start to make a real difference. It is also a useful addition to CVs and is often a requirement when applying for health-related courses.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Gain Experience

Gain Experience

Volunteering provides first hand experience of working in a health or social care setting. This will help learners to decide whether it’s the future career they want.

Make New Friends

Make New Friends

Volunteers will meet other volunteers and staff from all walks of life. It can be very rewarding to meet people with different life experiences, while also finding out they have a lot in common.

Make Contacts

Make Contacts

Through volunteering, learners can make valuable contacts, which can help when applying for jobs or courses.

Great for their CV

Great for their CV

Volunteering is a valuable addition to any CV or application form. Many university courses require some work experience and employers will also view this kind of activity favourably.

References

References

For volunteers who successfully show long term passion and commitment to the department they are supporting, supervisors may be willing to provide a reference for future job applications or educational courses.

Feel Good Factor

Feel Good Factor

One of the best things about volunteering in the sector is the feeling learners will get from helping others. This is one of the main reasons people love working in healthcare and is often a deciding factor for a learner’s choice in career.

What does it involve?

Commitment

Volunteering is a long term commitment of a learner’s time; when considering if they’d like to apply, they should be willing to dedicate themselves for 6 months or more. Volunteers will normally be expected to work 3-4 hours each week, though they can take on extra shifts if they like. Some roles can work on a more irregular or ad hoc basis.

Volunteer Roles

There are a wide range of roles within the Health and Social Care sector, each one providing vital support to staff and enhancing existing services. Roles often involve supporting residents and visitors in a way that’s different to the support staff offer. They may be guiding visitors, having a chat with people, or fundraising.

Expenses

Volunteers are usually reimbursed for travel expenses to and from their role, including the cost of travelling by car and public transport. There may be a cap on the amount volunteers can claim, but this should be at a level that will allow residents of the local area to get to and from their role.

Becoming a volunteer

Application and Interview

Application & Interview

The pre-volunteering process

The first step learners need to take to become a volunteer is completing an application with the organisation they want to work with. If successful, they will likely be invited to attend an interview or recruitment workshop where they will be given more information about the roles available, and for the host to see if they are right for the role.

Opportunities nearby

Opportunities Nearby

Find out who's taking volunteers

There are a lot of Health and Social Care organisations taking on new volunteers across Greater Manchester. The link below lists the organistations' locations and contact details. There is also more information about volunteering and the benefits.

Find Opportunities

Registration Process

Registration Process

If an applicant is successful, they will need to complete a registration process, which will often involve identity checks, criminal record (DBS) checks, training and an occupational health assessment.

This can take 1-2 months depending on a number of factors. It’s important for learners to consider this when they are applying to volunteer, as they probably won’t be able to start right away. For example, if they wanted to start volunteering in July, they will need to apply by March to ensure everything is completed in time.