Becoming a Volunteer
Volunteers play an important role as they contribute to the care and wellbeing of our patients.
The support that volunteers provide enables us to enrich and extend the range of services that it offers to patients and visitors.
There is an increasing range of opportunities available to prospective volunteers and if you are seeking a worthwhile and rewarding role helping to support and develop services and enhance the quality of our patients’ stay in hospital, then volunteering may be for you.
We would like to encourage people from a variety of backgrounds, ages and levels of experience to join our volunteer community and will aim to find a role that best suits you and your individual needs.
To be a successful volunteer you have to want to volunteer for the right reasons, not because someone has told you to do it, or because you would like to use it to enhance personal development and experience.
There is often some confusion between work experience and Volunteering. Volunteering is giving something back to the community and involves a regular commitment of time and is not a structured learning programme. You will not be shadowing and assisting staff and you will not rotate regularly between departments. You are likely, however, to get a good feel of how a Hospital works.
What are we looking for in a volunteer?
Volunteering at Wirral University Teaching Hospitals can offer a great opportunity to give something back to your local community. However, hospitals can be very challenging environments. They are busy places that care for sick and critically ill patients and their families which can be distressing.
Therefore, to be a volunteer you need to be able to commit to the role fully and ensure you are the right type of person to volunteer in a hospital environment.
Volunteers need to be:
- Friendly and approachable
- Caring and good listeners
- Comfortable approaching people to offer help
- Able to work independently and use initiative after initial training period
- Emotionally mature and able to stay calm in difficult situations
- Able to offer a regular weekly commitment for at least six months
Each role has a specific list of duties that the volunteer can undertake, however all volunteers should also:
- Be polite, courteous and respectful to others
- Know the hospital layout and be a source of information
- Direct or escort patients or visitors to their appropriate destination
- Wear the Trust volunteer ID badge
- Adhere to the volunteer code of conduct
- Promote a positive image of the hospital, staff and voluntary services
- Uphold the values of the Trust
Before you can start in a voluntary role there is a registration process which involves a number of different steps:
Do you have Communication Support needs?
If you feel that you might need a little more support during the recruitment process to communicate with the team then please let us know in advance so that we can ensure processes are in place to make things as painless as possible.
Our volunteers are a very important part of our organisation and we appreciate the valuable time they spend supporting the Trust.
A list of our Volunteer Roles is available to download below.
How to apply
You will need to contact voluntary services to register your interest in volunteering with the Trust. We will ask you to complete a form which lets us know a bit about you, your reasons for getting into volunteering as well as your previous experience and specific skills.
Each year we hold our PROUD Awards where both staff and volunteers are recognised for the remarkable work that they carry out in order to provide the best possible healthcare services for the people of Wirral and beyond.
We very much appreciate the contribution volunteers make every day and to express our gratitude you will receive a Certificate after 5 years’ service and a pin badge and thank you letter from our Director of Nursing & Midwifery for 10/15/20 and 25 years’ service.
Should we be lucky enough to have your support for 30 years you will receive a pin badge, Certificate and afternoon tea with the Trust Chairman.
You will also be invited to the annual ‘Thank You Lunch’ where the Trust Chairman, Chief Executive and Board members will be in attendance to meet you and personally say thank you for all that you do.
Will I be able to volunteer immediately?
Unfortunately not, there are a number of pre-employment checks that we must do which can take several weeks to complete. You will not be able to volunteer until this process has been completed.
As part of the recruitment process, this Trust, in line with all NHS Trusts is required to seek Disclosure and Barring Services clearance (DBS) on all members of staff and those volunteering their services who, in the course of their normal duties, have access with children and/or vulnerable adults.
You will also be required to complete a work health assessment from the Occupational Health Department whose aim it is to promote and maintain the health of all people. Before health clearance is given for volunteering you may be contacted by the Occupational Health team and may need to be seen by an Occupational Health Advisor or physician. You may be asked to have a vaccination/s if required.
Will I be interviewed?
You will be invited to come in for an informal interview. This will give us a chance to get a better understanding of what kind of volunteering work you would like to do. We recruit into specific vacant volunteer roles, so this meeting will help us establish if there are any suitable roles for you at the moment.
If there are no suitable vacancies for me, what happens next?
If there are no suitable vacancies for you, we will keep you on our database and contact you in the future when a role comes up which is a good match for your skills/availability.
Will I get training for a Volunteer Role?
Yes. As a part of your registration you will attend a half day induction which will introduce you to the Trust providing some practical training which will be essential in undertaking your new role. On your first day of activity at the Trust your assigned supervisor will also provide a local induction to the department you will be working in.
Are there any age limitations for volunteers?
Volunteers must be aged 16 or over. To work in some acute areas, Volunteers need to be aged 18 or over. There is no upper age limit.
What kind of commitment is required?
We ask for a minimum commitment of 2 hours per week and pledge to volunteer for at least 6 months, however many of our volunteers are happy to stay with us for longer. You are free to volunteer for as many hours as you would like per week, however this needs to be at regular, agreed times.
I would like to shadow staff whilst volunteering. Is this possible?
It is not possible to engage in shadowing staff, nor will you ever be asked to provide any clinical care to patients.
Will I get paid Expenses?
Yes, volunteers can claim back any out of pocket expenses they have encountered.
If you are interested in volunteering for any organisations below please contact them through their website