Voluntary Services FAQs

What experience do I need?

You donít need previous experience of volunteering or working in a hospital. Weíre looking for individuals who are reliable, friendly, approachable and committed to making a difference.

I'm studying and want to shadow a doctor, can I?

No, volunteering is different form work experience. You can find out more about work experience here.

Iím only available in the evenings and weekends. Can I still volunteer?

As a fundraising volunteer you can be involved in events that will take place in the evening and some weekends on an ad hoc basis.

Will I be offered any training?

Yes, you will receive a volunteer induction which covers things such as infection control, rules, procedure and confidentiality. You will also attend a non-clinical mandatory training session which covers health and safety, fire safety and child safety.

Depending on your role you may also participate in conflict avoidance through customer care training, feeding training or training around dementia and Macmillan cancer information and support services.

To be able to volunteer you must undertake all required mandatory training. Mandatory training is repeated every two years.

Will volunteering affect my benefit entitlement?

No. If you receive jobseekerís allowance you can volunteer for as many hours as you want as long as youíre free to go to an interview at 48 hoursí notice and can start work within one week. Itís fine to be paid expenses but you will need to keep hold of your receipts so you can tell the Jobcentre what you get.

If youíre on jobseekerís allowance and want to volunteer, contact Jobcentre Plus who will ask you to fill in a simple form.

Will I need health clearance?

When you receive a conditional offer you will also receive an application pack which consists of an application form, occupational health form and DBS form (formerly a CRB form). The occupational health form will be sent to our occupational health service and they will discuss with you any health conditions that may impact on your time volunteering with us and any adjustments we need to make as a result. A conditional offer can be revoked depending on the circumstances.

As we treat patients with infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB), they will also ask what vaccinations you have had in the past. You may need to have additional vaccinations to ensure you are fully immunised.

Why do I need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?

We are required by law to seek clearance from the DBS (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau) for all staff and volunteers who work unsupervised with vulnerable adults. This is to provide reassurance to patients, their families and carers about the staff and volunteers who will help them during their hospital stay.

For most volunteer roles, you will be asked to complete a DBS form before you receive a conditional offer. You will also be asked to complete a Trust declaration form during your induction, which asks you to let us know if you have any previous convictions. This information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

DBS clearance is required before you can start volunteering. If you have convictions you will not automatically be denied an opportunity to volunteer. The type of conviction and when it took place will be taken into account before a decision is made.

Will you turn down my application if I have a previous conviction?

Not necessarily. We are only concerned about previous convictions or other information that might affect your suitability for the volunteer role.

Decisions will be made on a case by case basis after discussions with you. The volunteering service manager can answer any concerns you may have. Please call 020 7288 3974 to arrange a time to speak to them.

Will you provide a reference if I volunteer?

We will provide standard references for all volunteers who have given their time for one year or more and where the volunteering placement was successful.