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Volunteering

Our volunteers, and the roles they carry out, all have the aim of helping to make our patients' and visitors' time in hospital a little easier.

Read our exciting 2023-2026 strategy

Aged 16 years old or above?

If you're a young person thinking about volunteering your time in a fulfilling role, why not join our growing community of young people volunteering here at UHBW? Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, grow in confidence, gain valuable experience in a health care setting and open up a world of educational and employment opportunities. If you're aged 16 years old or above, contact us today to find out how you can make a difference to the lives of our patients and people.

What volunteer roles are available?

All of our volunteer opportunities play a crucial part in enhancing the experience of our patients, visitors and staff. We have a variety of roles available, including (but not limited to):

  • Meet and Greet - welcoming and wayfinding support for patients and visitors.
  • Mealtimes - supporting and encouraging patients to eat during mealtimes.
  • Befrienders - providing companionship and interaction to patients in our adult wards.
  • Buddies - providing company and engaging in activities with patients on children's wards.
  • Play - engaging with children in play activities within the children's hospital.

Where can I volunteer?

It depends on the needs of our hospitals, but we often have opportunities in the following hospital sites:

  • Bristol Royal Infirmary
  • Weston General Hospital
  • Bristol Eye Hospital
  • Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre
  • Bristol Heart Institute
  • Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
  • St Michael's Hospital

You will be allocated a ward/area to support for the duration of your volunteering but we can support you to gain experience in other areas and roles, where possible.

How to apply

We will be open for applications at the following times throughout 2024:

  • 1 August - 8 August 
  • 1 September - 8 September 
  • 1 October - 8 October 

When we're recruiting new volunteers, details of the available roles and access to the application process can be found on the UHBW jobs page. You will be required to complete and submit an online application form. If you have any questions, please contact our Voluntary Services team via the contact details at the bottom of this page.

How much time will I need to commit? 

We ask for a regular commitment of around 2-4 hours per week, for at least 6 months. You are required to volunteer on the same day and time each week. If you are unable to attend your session for any reason, we just ask you to provide as much notice as possible.

What does the recruitment process look like?

If your application is successful, we will invite you to an interview with our team. Successful candidates will then be contacted and asked if they would like to proceed. The recruitment process is the same as for an employee, so will include things like; ID checks, proof of your right to be in the UK, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service -  if required for the role) and occupational health checks.

Is there any training to complete?

Yes, there are some online modules to complete and we also ask you to attend an in-person skills-building session, which is part of the onboarding process to become a volunteer. Finally, you will be required to attend a full induction where you'll also be issued with your ID and volunteer uniform!

How long do recruitment checks and training take to complete?

We aim to complete this as soon as possible. For most people, this is around 6 weeks from your interview, depending on the time it takes you to complete your training and how long the recruitment checks take, such as the DBS process.  

Will I have any support during my volunteering?

Yes! We have a team of Voluntary Services Support Officers (VSSOs) who will support you through the recruitment process and for the duration of your volunteering. You will be allocated a VSSO, who will be your main point of contact in addition to support from staff based in your volunteering area. You can access a wide range of other support from the Trust, including wellbeing resources. You will also receive regular one-to-one supervision and opportunities to meet with other volunteers during your time with us. 

Contact us

By email: volunteering@uhbw.nhs.uk

By telephone:

  • 0117 34 21530 (Bristol office)
  • 01934 647005 (Weston office)

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