We are extremely proud of our team of volunteers, who help us in our goal to provide the best quality of care for patients in Doncaster and Bassetlaw…

Being a volunteer can give you:

• Structure to your day and a sense of achievement
• A challenge and an opportunity for personal development
• An opportunity to learn new skills or to use your lifetime skills
• The opportunity to meet others and to make social contacts
• The chance to get to know your local hospital and gain an understanding of how healthcare is provided.

Can anyone volunteer?

Volunteers are a vital part of Team DBTH and so we have to appoint volunteers with all possible care and attention. There is a simple application form, two references are always required, a basic medical questionnaire, a meeting with the Voluntary Services Manager and clearance through the Criminal Records Bureau is needed. We arrange all this, so don’t worry about the process.

If we have vacancies then we can take volunteers from 17 years of age upwards. No special skills are needed but you must have  the commitment to being able to attend regularly, and you must  have an understanding of what is meant by patient  confidentiality and to being a reliable member of a team. We have volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life. Some of our evening volunteers also have full-time jobs and they welcome the chance to help in their spare time. Couples are also welcome to apply.

What sort of things can I do?

This depends on what is available at the time of your application and to which hospital you apply, since the roles of volunteers do vary from hospital to hospital. Some of the areas that volunteers help are listed below but we cannot guarantee that places will always be available:

• help desk enquiries
• escorting patients and visitors around the hospitals
• ward companions
• helping in busy clinics
• coffee shop
• patients Library Services
• relatives room
• clinics
• flowers
• magazine distribution in waiting areas.

The ante natal unit occasionally have vacancies but not the children’s wards.

Will it cost me anything?
No, you are not expected to be out of pocket for the help you give the Trust. We reimburse reasonable travel expenses in line with NHS national rates. If you work a 4-hour shift then you can claim a meal voucher and a free hot drink during your session.

What training will I receive?
Each volunteer role has a written role description clearly stating what you can do and what you must not do . Wherever possible, new volunteers are placed with more experienced volunteers so you can learn as you go along.  You will never be asked to undertake any role for which you have not received appropriate instruction.

Every volunteer will be asked to attend the Trust’s induction for new starters and, if you want to move patients in wheelchairs, then there is a simple Moving & Handling course.

Is there a minimum amount I have to do each week?
This depends on what area you are in. In some areas, we have 4-hour rotas but in others we can be more flexible about the time spent. Some volunteers come in several times a week. We appreciate that many volunteers have a lot of demands on their time so we try to accommodate by being as flexible as possible.

Do volunteers do the same things as paid staff?
Volunteers do not replace paid employees in any circumstances. Volunteers give the quality of time in supporting and assisting paid employees in providing a high-quality effective service in a busy working environment. Volunteers cannot  undertake work that should be done by paid staff. For this reason volunteering should not be seen as a means of gaining work experience

Is volunteering the same as work experience?
No. The main purpose of volunteering in our hospitals is to help support staff in providing excellent patient care and volunteering should not be viewed only as a means of gaining either work experience or as a means of enhancing either university or college applications.  Applicants for work experience must be over 16 years old.  Applications for work experience should be directed to the  Human Resources department and not to the Voluntary Services Department.

How do I become a volunteer with the Voluntary Services Department?
If you would like to find out more about volunteering, then please contact the Voluntary Services Office.

How do I contact the Voluntary Services Department?
For all Hospitals, contact Voluntary Services on 01302 644403, or e-mail nicola.ramshaw@nhs.net.

There are also other volunteering groups operating within the Trust, such as the Royal Voluntary Service, which helps to run some of the hospital shops and tea bars, and the British Red Cross, which provides a wide range of services. In addition we have a hospital radio, TRUST AM,  the Comforts Fund at Montagu Hospital, the League of Friends at Bassetlaw Hospital and the Aurora Centre at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and at Montagu hospital.

All can be contacted via the Voluntary Services Department, details above.

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