Frequently asked questions

Who can volunteer?

Anyone who is 16 years of age or over. We have volunteers from all walks of life and different backgrounds, some are students, some are stay at home parents and some are retired. Anyone who is happy to offer their time and services for free can be considered for volunteering.

How soon can I start?

The recruitment procedure is like to take at least 4-6 weeks, but can take several weeks to complete after the initial informal interview and includes clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, health checks, right to work checks and appropriate references. We will sort all of this out for you and get you volunteering here as soon as possible.

How much time do volunteers give?

As much time as you can spare! However, we suggest that each session you offer is a minimum of 2 hours, depending on the type of voluntary work chosen. Obviously, we want you to stay with us as long as possible but we ask for a minimum commitment of six months. When you have completed six months or more, we are normally happy to provide a reference for you for future college courses or employment, if required.

Will volunteering cost me money?

No, we will cover your car parking fees and can a offer discount in the staff restaurant.

Will training be provided?

Full induction, training and on-going support will be given to all volunteers. We will provide mandatory training such as fire and safeguarding for example, in addition to any training that is specific to the patients that you are interacting with and the role that you are undertaking.

How do I apply?

You apply by filling in an application form. These can be found online next to the job role at www.ndhtjobs.com, or www.jobs.nhs.uk. Alternatively, you can call 01271 313933 for an application form or fill out the form in this information pack.

Will I have to have an interview?

We know that some people can worry about interviews and that they can also be quite stressful, so we have a variety of ‘interview type’ methods of finding out more about you and where you will be happiest volunteering. These might include informal interviews which are like a chat over coffee, or group interviews. They are always friendly and relaxed so there really is nothing to worry about.

What if I start but I don’t like it?

If you aren’t feeling happy, or have any concerns then you can talk to the Fern Centre manager who is there to support you in your role. To get the most out of a volunteering role you should ideally spend 6 months in it but if you are unhappy, we will do our best to find another role you feel comfortable with in other areas of the hospital, but of course you are able to leave at any time.

What other volunteering opportunities are there?

We have a variety of opportunities across NDHT in addition to those available in the Fern Centre. Visit the volunteering section on our jobs website www.ndhtjobs.com for more information, or contact the Volunteering Coordinator at NDDH at ndht.volunteer@nhs.net or by telephoning 01271 313933.