Volunteering FAQs

Click on the headings to view the answers to these frequently asked questions.

Our volunteers come from a range of different ages and backgrounds. No previous experience is necessary, but you will need to be reliable, a good listener, and have an awareness of the individual needs of patients, especially around issues of confidentiality. As long as there is a suitable vacancy, we will always try to arrange your placement so that it matches your particular skills and interests.

Volunteer Services do not organise work experience or student placements as these are managed by another department. For more information, please see our work experience page.

At the moment we are unable to have volunteers under the age of 16. There is no upper age limit, apart from Hospital Car Driver Volunteers who are asked to be aged 69 and under.

Yes, we pay out-of-pocket travel expenses to all volunteers, up to a 10-mile radius from their volunteering base.

Yes, you will be trained and inducted into your role before you start. All our volunteers must complete Trust Induction, which must be updated every 3 years thereafter. Once you are in role there are ongoing opportunities to develop your skills, knowledge and experience. NB: some roles require role specific training before taking up the role.

The process can take up to 2 months before you start your volunteer role. The process depends on factors such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, obtaining references, Occupational Health screening, training dates and role availability. Sometimes referees are a bit slow to respond which delays the process, so if you can help speed this up, it would be appreciated.

We ask that you are able to commit to two to three hours per week for a minimum of 6 months for any volunteering role. This is because of the many checks that form part of the recruitment process and to allow time for staff to get to know you and for you to feel part of a team. However, there are volunteering options outside the NHS which may be more suitable.