We have around 1000 volunteers who tirelessly and generously give their time to services for patients and visitors.
They perform a range of important roles, from ‘meeting and greeting’ patients and visitors at our hospital entrances to going around the wards with the sweet trolley.
Our volunteers are greatly valued across the trust so we are delighted to have become the first trust in the North East to achieve the investing in volunteers (IiV) quality standard. We are one of only eight NHS organisations in the country to be accredited with the standard, which recognises the way we manage our incredible volunteering service.
If you’re interested in joining us as a volunteer you will need to complete an application form and provide two references. Once we have your form we may contact you to attend an interview. If successful, you will need to undertake occupational health clearance and a Disclosure and Barring Service check which we will arrange. Please note that this process can sometimes take up to two months.
They may also help out with patients on the ward, providing assistance at mealtimes to those patients who need it and talking to stroke patients to aid their recovery by helping them practice and gain confidence.
We are the first of five pilot trusts in the UK to embark on a new national initiative to boost volunteering across the NHS called HelpForce.
Supported by NHS England, HelpForce is working with 12 trusts across the country to improve volunteering practice and make a positive difference for patients, volunteers and NHS staff.
We are initially focussing on youth volunteering and have already recruited 24 young people to improve patients’ experiences in hospitals. The pupils from local schools are volunteering on wards at The Northumbria hospital, Cramlington, and Wansbeck General Hospital. Working in pairs, the volunteers spend dedicated time with patients while they are staying on wards and facilitate activities to increase social interaction.
You can read more about the project here.