Volunteering

Volunteer with us

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust hugely values the contribution of volunteers. Volunteering in a hospital setting offers tremendous opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of our patients, to learn and importantly to have fun.

Volunteering in a hospital setting is a medium-to-long term commitment due to the nature of our recruitment and the nature of the roles. We ask that individuals who are applying to be a volunteer commit to volunteering for at least three hours a week for a minimum of one year (flexible around family and study commitments etc). There are over 40 different volunteer roles in the hospital, and we will work with you to find the one which is right for you.

We involve volunteers across the Trust, but particularly on our inpatient wards at Wexham Park, Frimley Park, Heatherwood and Farnham Hospital. All volunteers must be aged 16 or over. Volunteering can take place on any day of the week between 8am and 8pm subject to the needs of the unit/ward that you are volunteering with.

How do I apply?

We recruit regularly throughout the year. If we are actively recruiting, the role adverts will be listed on the Frimley Health NHS Trust jobs page. If we do not have active vacancies at present, you can request to be placed on our waiting list by emailing fhft.volunteerswph@nhs.net.

We adhere to the highest standards of safe recruitment, and so please ensure that you follow every step of the application process carefully. Once you have submitted an application you will be invited to interview. From there if you are successful you will be asked to complete an occupational health assessment which may involve a face to face meeting and a blood test as well as a DBS check (criminal records check). You will also need to provide details of two referees wo we can contact in support of your application. We will fully induct you for your role and offer ongoing support and annual training for our volunteers so you can develop your skills and make the biggest possible difference to the wellbeing of our patients.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Want to lean more?

If you would like to speak to someone about a volunteering role with the Trust please contact Nicola Monk, Voluntary Services Deputy Manager. You can call Nicola on 0300 6155 341 or please email fhft.volunteerswph@nhs.net

Nicola will be able to tell you all about the many volunteer roles available, how to apply, what you can expect to put in to the task and what you will get out of it.

There are two priority roles that we require volunteers to undertake. These are:

Patient companions

Patient companions play an important role in working with nurses to create a calm, caring and comfortable ward environment. Offering companionship and comfort to patients. Patient companions listen to a patient talk about hopes, fears and concerns. Their presence and empathy can counteract such negative emotions as loneliness, sadness and despair, which can hinder effective treatment. Instead, their sympathy encourages positive emotions such as happiness and relief, which can speed up the healing process.

Meal time assistant

Meal time assistants will assist with the feeding of patients on wards ensuring that patients being fed are given the appropriate meals and liaising with the ward staff regarding patients’ choice of meals. They will also make sure that appropriate utensil and feeding aids are used at all times. Much of this role involves engaging patients’ in conversations during mealtimes. Meal time assistants will also make sure that all patients fed are offered and given a choice of fluid refreshments (within reason).

We also need volunteers for:

Volunteers working at the hospital reception desks warmly welcome patients, visitors and staff and help them with directions and information about the hospital. Their role is to provide a friendly face in an environment that may seem strange and bewildering.

Work is varied and depends on the particular needs of the ward, but could include greeting new patients and visitors on the ward, listening, reading and chatting to patients, helping our play specialists prepare activities for sick children, assisting with feeding and drinking at meal times and running errands for patients and staff.

These volunteers talk to patients before they go home to ask them about their experience at Frimley Health. This involves spending approximately five minutes with each patient, asking questions and recording their responses. We need people who are available during the day and who are happy to go from ward to ward talking to different people.

We have a team of volunteers that offers pastoral, spiritual and religious support to patients, families and staff who may be experiencing a worrying time. Volunteers from many faiths assist the chaplains by visiting patients on the wards, help to take patients to services in the hospitals and ensure that requests to see the chaplains are passed on.

The trust has a well-established charity which helps to pay for extra services, equipment and enhancements that you might not expect to find in an NHS hospital. We rely on volunteers helping our fundraising team to reach their targets.

Our midwives appreciate the support offered by volunteers willing to guide and support new mums. This could be by helping to establish breastfeeding, being close by for assistance during a baby’s first bath, or even just fetching a tired new mum a hot cup of tea. Maternity volunteers are all trained in-house by our midwives.

Some of our wards have their own gardens for patients to relax in. Volunteers are vital to maintain these, particularly during the warmer months, and we always need help with weeding, watering and planting the raised beds and plant pots.

There are numerous clerical tasks that our volunteers help us with, such as filing, producing standard letters, answering the telephone and taking messages, making up information packs for new patients, laminating and photocopying, or working in our libraries. Helping us with administration really takes the pressure off front line staff on wards and in clinics, leaving them more time to devote to patients.

Buggy drivers provide a much need service giving lifts to patients around Wexham park hospital, with a similar service hopefully being introduced at Frimley park hospital in the near future. To be a buggy driver you must hold a driving licence and be comfortable talking to and assisting patients.

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