Volunteers play a very important part in the NHS. They bring valuable skills and enthusiasm to our patients, clients, visitors and staff. And they are not the only ones to benefit – volunteering is a very positive and satisfying thing to do. We care for vulnerable people in our society and specialise in caring for individuals that have complex needs.

As a volunteer you may, for example, assist nursing or therapy staff with specific social and recreational activities, or talk to new patients and their families on one of our wards helping them to feel more at home.

Please be aware that we ask for a commitment of six months from our volunteers, so please bear this in mind when deciding whether you want to volunteer.

We also ask people to help on a regular basis, usually weekly. Why volunteer? Volunteering not only improves the experiences of patients, visitors and staff at the Trust, but also provides an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.

Whether you are looking to gain experience in a healthcare environment or simply give a little back to your community, we will work to find a volunteer role that suits your skills and experiences, and what you’d like to get out of it.

Volunteering is a great way to:

  • Gather useful experience
  • Gain new skills
  • Build your confidence and self-esteem
  • Find out whether working in healthcare is for you Meet new people
  • Experience being part of a team

Charlotte has volunteered at Wards 3 and 6 at our Harplands Hospital, before working with Changes. Charlotte explains why she wanted to get into volunteering in mental health, the types of activities she was able to take part in, the benefits and opportunities it has given her and how others can get involved.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer who is 18 and over, and who feels are ready to commit to help the Trust. This can include students, people in work, unemployed people or retired people.

Here is a list of important qualities we would welcome in our Trust:

  • Warmth
  • Friendliness
  • Being yourself
  • Honesty
  • Being able to listen
  • Someone who doesn’t pass judgement or discriminate against others
  • Being open minded
  • Patience
  • Reliability
  • Being consistent
  • Ability to work within boundaries
  • Ability to know their own limits
  • Ability to respect confidentiality
  • Empathy There are many more, but we feel these are the most important.

Volunteer opportunities

  • Helping patients at mealtimes in hospital wards
  • Working with patients with complex needs
  • Help running the Level One Café at Harplands
  • Carrying out clerical tasks in clinics and offices
  • Reading, playing games with patients
  • Taking part in group activities in day centres
  • Visiting patients in hospital
  • Befriending
  • Taking patients for a walk
  • Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) volunteer
  • Gardening
  • Chaplaincy service
  • Art therapy (need to be qualified)
  • Complementary therapies
  • Sitting and listening

How do I apply to volunteer?

If you are 18 and over and feel you are ready to commit to help the Trust, you will need to go through the following process:

Speak to the Volunteer Coordinator on 01782 441600 (ext 2480), or complete this volunteer application form.

You will be invited to attend an interview to discuss the opportunities available

  • Submit two references
  • Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Complete Occupational Health clearance
  • Attend our two day induction training

Once you have successfully completed this process and you are cleared to begin volunteering, you will be given a starter pack and a date when your placement will begin.

The full process and detailed information can be viewed in our Volunteer Policy. Frequently asked questions See this list of frequently asked questions.

Contact details

If you need any further information or would like to speak directly to our Voluntary Services, please contact:

Veronica Emlyn
Volunteer Coordinator
Patient Experience Team
North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust
Harplands Hospital
Hilton Road
ST4 6TH – click here to get directions from Google Maps

Tel: 01782 441600 (ext 2480)

Email: veronica.emlyn@combined.nhs.uk or PatientExperienceTeam@combined.nhs.uk