Jump to content

Volunteering is a willingness to do something to help others without being paid for it – this can be helping a person, charity, or organisation and there are opportunities in all sorts of areas e.g. people, conservation, and animals.

Organisations across the health and care sector all need help from volunteers as they are there to provide invaluable support for the staff. There are many different ways you can volunteer – here are just a few examples:

  • Meet and greet visitors to the hospital
  • Guides to help people get to the right place
  • Support health professionals to run activities such as quizzes, cookery, music
  • Befriending
  • Mealtime Assistants
  • Bring in Therapy dogs
  • Fundraising
  • Organising refreshments for patients and visitors
  • Working in the shop

Some roles can be a one-off, like a hospital garden makeovers while others can last for months or even years.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering provides many opportunities for you to meet others and gives you the opportunity to share and enhance your skills and knowledge. It helps develop a sense of purpose and increases your self-confidence. It may count towards your Duke of Edinburgh Award and will look great on your application form for college or university. If you are looking for paid employment it will give you an insight into the organisation and the services it offers. It will also show that you can commit to something for a period of time and that you are reliable.


  • What roles can you do in health and care?

    This will differ in each organisation but might include befriending mealtime assistants, and running activities. Choose where you would like to volunteer and see if they have a website or for small care homes etc you could drop by or telephone them.

  • Do you get a uniform?

    Most organisations will give you something so people can easily recognise you – this might be a polo shirt, tabard or sometimes just a lanyard depending on the placement.

  • Can I volunteer in my local hospital?

    Yes, most hospitals will be very keen to accept volunteers – check out their websites as they usually have a section dedicated to volunteering.

  • How many hours do I need to give?

    There isn’t usually a minimum number of hours you have to do over a week – it really is down to you how much time you can afford. Depending on the role, some organisations like you to sign up for a minimum period of time e.g. 6 months because they have to get your DBS checked etc.

  • How old do you have to be to volunteer?

    This depends on both the role and the organisation. In most organisations, it will be aged 16+