Our volunteering programme

Volunteers play an essential role in supporting patients and their loved ones during their time in hospital. Pointing visitors in the right direction, assisting NHS staff or simply offering an ear to listen, volunteers are a helping hand to everyone who passes through our hospitals.

Many of our volunteers take part to support their local community or to give back to hospital staff after experiencing outstanding care. Others get involved to develop their personal and professional skills, or gain experience in a healthcare environment.

We manage volunteering at five London hospitals - Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea, St Mary's and the Western Eye. We offer a wide variety of supportive volunteer roles and activities – from helping patients find their way and giving out information, to assisting staff and patients on hospital wards.

Interested in applying for a volunteer role in our hospitals? Go to ‘I want to volunteer’ to find out more.

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Enhancing patient care

Volunteers can transform a patient's experience of being in hospital. By offering a friendly welcome or an ear to listen, they help to make the clinical environment a calmer and more comfortable space for patients at a time of distress, concern or anxiety.

Our volunteers carry out a wide range of roles across a large number of hospital wards, departments and services, with appropriate skills and experience to provide the best possible service.

Many of these roles give volunteers the opportunity to engage with patients, providing valuable companionship support and ensuring patients feel valued and cared for – from serving food and drink at mealtimes to playing games in day rooms and at the bedside.

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Supporting NHS staff

Volunteers make our hospitals better places to work for NHS staff. Their contribution complements and enhances the care staff already provide, improving the overall service for patients and their families.

They also boost morale, ensuring hospital workers feel appreciated, valued and supported in their roles.

We work with specific wards, departments and services to help them understand how volunteers can support them, while delivering basic training that enables staff to work effectively with volunteers in their teams.

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A great experience for volunteers

We want all our volunteers to have a great experience with us – so we offer training, support and advice to everyone who devotes their time to help us.

We’ve removed some of the biggest barriers to volunteering by creating roles and shift patterns that accommodate volunteers at different times of the day, including evenings and weekends.

Once our volunteers have started with us, they can access one-to-one support at any time with staff teams based in our hospitals five days a week.

To acknowledge their enormous contribution, we also run celebration events and an awards programme, so that we can say thank you to our volunteers throughout their journey with us.


Want to read more about how volunteers make a difference in our hospitals? Go to ‘Our Impact’ to find out more

Feeling inspired? You can apply for a volunteer role at one of our hospitals today. Go to ‘I want to volunteer’ to apply now