What do volunteers do?
Our volunteers enhance the service already provided by
paid staff; they do not replace paid staff. We offer a wide variety
of volunteering roles, ranging from volunteering in wards and
clinical areas to supporting visitors coming into our hospitals.
Take a look at our list of current volunteer opportunities to see
if there's something that will suit you. The placement
profiles available on this web site will also give you more
information about the sorts of things that our volunteers
Will I be interviewed?
Yes. We hold interviews to help us get to know you find
out what skills you can offer and explore what you would like to do
when you volunteer. We will also talk about any training you will
need for the position.
Can I choose where I volunteer?
We offer a wide variety of placements throughout the
Trust. During your interview you will be asked where you would like
to volunteer, what skills you can bring and what you are hoping to
gain from the placement. This will help us to find the most
suitable placement for you. We will do our best to accommodate your
Do all applicants get accepted for
We receive a lot of applications, so we are not always
able to place everyone - but we do our best to. This is why it is
important that you provide us with as much relevant information as
possible in your registration form and at interview.
Will I be able to volunteer immediately?
All volunteers must go through the necessary police
checks, references, occupational health clearance and training.
This can take some time to complete. The time between us receiving
an application and the start of a placement is typically around
eight weeks - assuming that paperwork is completed promptly and a
suitable role is available.
Will I get any training?
Once you start volunteering you will be given training and local
orientation to the ward or department. You will need to attend the
Trust's corporate induction programme, and any other specific
training identified for the role. This usually takes two days. Once
you are in a volunteering role, there may be further opportunities
for training - this is something you can discuss with your
placement manager or the Voluntary Services
Can I volunteer if I am under 18?
For health and safety reasons, most voluntary placements
are for those aged above 18, although we do place 17 year olds in
some of our non-clinical areas. Some of our charities do have
junior membership from the age of 14, usually offering placements
in a retail environment.
I am free over the summer holidays - can I volunteer for
this period only?
Due to the length of our recruitment and training we ask
you to commit to a minimum of six months for a volunteering
How long and how often can I volunteer?
Most volunteers do half day sessions, mornings or
afternoons, usually once a week, although some choose to do a
full day once a week. Most of our opportunities are
Monday to Friday but we do have some opportunities available
during evenings and weekends. We are very flexible and always happy
to discuss alternatives that fit in with your own
How do I apply?
You will need to complete an application form which can be
downloaded from the how to
apply page. Once we have received your form
you will be invited to an interview to discuss the opportunities
available and try to match your skills with current vacancies. If
an opportunity arises, we then require:
- Two references
- Disclosure and Barring Service Check (previously known as
Criminal Records Bureau Check)
- Occupational Health clearance
- A minimum of three forms of identity documentation
- Attendance at induction and any other relevant training
Once you are cleared to begin volunteering, you will be given a
starter pack and a date when your placement will begin.
What will happen to my benefits if I volunteer?
The document 'Volunteering while getting benefits' will
provide you with more information. In nearly all cases
benefits will not be affected but you must talk to Jobcentre Plus
before you start any volunteering.
Can I claim expenses?
We pay travel expenses to our volunteers and encourage them to
use the local bus service or hospital free bus. Facilities are
available for those who wish to cycle. Volunteers who contribute
over four hours a day are entitled to claim a luncheon
allowance. Expenses may be claimed on a weekly or monthly basis by
Where can I volunteer?
Here are some examples of departments and services where
volunteers are needed:
Outpatients, wards, our retail outlets, information
centres, reception desks, fundraising groups, playrooms, hospital
radio, driving, chaplaincy, Emergency Department, League of
Friends, Scouts, helping patients at mealtimes, administration,
maternity tours, and South Bristol Community Hospital.
Are there any volunteering opportunities with other
We work closely with the RVS (formerly WRVS) and Radio
Lollipop. Please visit their websites for further
I want to shadow a health professional or other
NHS staff. Is that possible?
If you would like to shadow a member of staff you will
need to contact the Trust's Work Experience Coordinator by calling
0117 342 5000 (option 4) or email email@example.com
. See the work experience page on the Trust's web
site for more information and contact details.
I am a student seeking a placement to support my studies.
Can I do my placement at UH Bristol?
If you need a placement to support your course, you will
need to apply for an honorary contract. For further information,
please call 0117 342 5000 (option 1) or email
. See the clinical
attachments and internships page on the
Trust's web site for more information and contact
What identity documents do I need to provide?
As part of the checks we are required to make you will need to
provide at least three forms of identity
documentation. The Disclosure & Barring Service require us
to see specific documents.
You will need to provide either two forms of photographic
identity documents and one document confirming your current
address; or one form of photographic identity document and two
Photographic identity documents - current passport; driving
licence photocard (which must be presented with the paper
Address documents - current council tax statement, bank
statement dated within last three months (cannot be online
printout), utility bill dated within last three months (cannot
be online printout).
If you cannot provide these documents please contact the
Voluntary Services team on 0117 34 21530 /21531