Volunteer with us

Our volunteers are amazing people!  Each and every one of them provides invaluable help in supporting the work of the Trust and enriching the patient experience.

Volunteering is a genuine way in which people can give something to their community. Our volunteers play an important role in our Trust by providing non-clinical support. They bring skills, knowledge and experience that complement the core activities of the Trust.

Each and every volunteer provides invaluable help supporting the work of the Trust. They can truly enrich the patient experience, whether with us for an outpatient visit or a longer admission, by providing non-clinical support. They bring their many and varied skills, knowledge and experience to complement the core activities of the Trust.

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Why volunteer?

Why volunteer?

Donating your time makes a massive difference to the Hospital, to our patients and their visitors, to our staff and the local community. It will also make a difference to your life. Volunteering in a busy environment like a hospital can be exciting and very rewarding, and we want you to enjoy being part of our team. We have volunteers in our acute hospital, our community hospitals and those that support people in their own homes. We will support you to make sure you are properly trained and have a named point of contact while you are with us.

You’ll make new friends and meet and work with people from all walks of life, helping you to learn new skills and gain new experience. Our volunteers tell us that volunteering helps them grow in confidence and, if you are looking for work, volunteering is a great way to show potential employers that you are reliable, as well as committed to work and training.

Best of all, volunteering improves your health. Studies have concluded that people who volunteer live longer, have better brain function and lower rates of depression than those who don’t.

Find out more

Applying for our Eastern services

You can contact the Volunteer Services at:

Patient Experience Department
Main Entrance
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital
Barrack Road
Exeter
EX2 5DW

Telephone: 01392 402080
Email: rduh.volunteer-eastern@nhs.net

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When you contact us please leave your contact details so that we can send you an application form to complete, including providing two referees who will contact to provide a reference for you. You will also need to complete an Immunisation and Vaccination Questionnaire, Health Declaration and Risk Assessment to determine if it is safe for you to volunteer within the hospital environment. 

Once this has been approved we will contact you to arrange an interview with the Volunteer Lead.

If you are successful at your interview, you will be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS). Please be aware this is an online process. You will need to supply information and personal identification documents for this process i.e. passport / driving licence / utility bill.

When all the checks have been completed and are satisfactory, you will be asked to attend Trust Induction when you will be asked to sign a Volunteer Code of Practice Agreement and a Covid19 Declaration form. You will also need to complete online mandatory training before beginning your volunteering role. 

Applying for our Northern services

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for us please contact: rduh.volunteer-northern@nhs.net or call 01271 322334

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What is it like to volunteer with us?
What is it like to volunteer with us?

Connie - Volunteer Supervisor, Northern Devon Vaccination Clinic

My name is Connie, I am in my 70's and a retired grandmother of 10. I started volunteering at the Northern Devon Vaccination Clinic in February 2021 just for a couple of weeks but am still there now!

Volunteering has been a brilliant way to get me out of the house and make lots of new friends. As I live alone, the people I volunteer with and the staff feel like my family, I look forward to coming to the vaccination clinic. I definitely enjoy meeting new people and having a laugh whilst carrying out an important and supportive role within the vaccination clinic.

I'm proud of how I have helped and supported patients coming into the clinic, of whom many are extremely nervous. It gives me a real feeling of achievement.

Have a go and volunteer! We work hard, have fun, and achieve lots!

Discover volunteering opportunities

Discover volunteering opportunities

Our roles are regularly advertised, but others do become available at certain times depending on service needs. 

Find out more

Star iconCase study

What is it like to volunteer with us?
What is it like to volunteer with us?

George Hammett, Carpark Supervisor Northern Devon Vaccination Clinic

I’m retired from the Theatre industry, and I volunteer at the Northern Devon Vaccination Clinic at Barnstaple Leisure Centre. I wanted to become a volunteer to help people - I'm a very sociable person and like to always be doing something. I also do a lot of fundraising and have met a lot of new people to help with this.

Volunteering has transformed my life! It's got me out of the house and given me a purpose again. Volunteering is great for your mental health and wellbeing as it is a very positive experience.

My favourite thing about the role is meeting people! I know hundreds of local people and it's reassuring for them to see a local friendly face it helps them relax. We can have a bit of a chat and make sure they have a positive experience.

Please do give volunteering a go! You'll enjoy it, and will be working with a great team.

We will support your development

We will support your development

Every department and ward will be keen to ensure you feel engaged and confident in your roles with them, so once you have undertaken the Trust’s induction programme, you will then be given more specific role training where you are placed. There are some specialist roles e.g complementary therapists, where we will provide additional specific guidance and support to fulfil the tasks as relevant.

Get in touch

Star iconCase study

What is it like to volunteer with us?
What is it like to volunteer with us?

Pam Jewitt, Volunteer at North Devon District Hospital and Northern Devon Vaccination Clinic

I’m retired and in my 70 s. I just love helping people and started volunteering at North Devon District Hospital where I help in various wards and departments. It s been over 3 years ago now and I also volunteer at the Vaccination Clinic.

I have a lot of time on my hands and I like to help reassure people with any worries they may have about attending the hospital, clinic or rehabilitation. Having a caring person can really help with mental health issues and anxiety.

Volunteering makes me feel good. I enjoy being part of a team and if I wasn't helping, then a nurse or another staff member would have to do the role I can assist with it can free up their time. I enjoy it and it makes you feel younger, and of use again to be part of a team. It s great for your mental health and wellbeing!

Come and have a go at volunteering! It s very worthwhile and great if you re lonely and on your own. After a career as a nurse and a midwife, it's great to be able to give back to the NHS.

Can anyone become a volunteer?

Our volunteers come from a range of different ages and backgrounds, although you need to be a minimum of 16 years of age. No previous experience is necessary, but you will need to be reliable, a good listener, and have an awareness of the individual needs of patients, especially around issues of confidentiality. As long as there is a suitable vacancy, we will always try to arrange your placement so that it matches your particular skills and interests.

Can I claim travel expenses?

Yes, we refund travel expenses provided you submit proof such as tickets for public transport. We can also refund mileage up to 40 miles for over 4 hours’ volunteering and up to 20 miles for less than 4 hours’ volunteering.

How long is the recruitment process?

The process can take up to two months before you start your volunteer role. The process depends on factors such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, obtaining references, Occupational Health screening, training dates and role availability. Sometimes referees are a bit slow to respond which delays the process, so if you can help speed this up, it would be appreciated.

I am only available at evening or weekends – can I still volunteer?

Yes, we have many volunteers who continue to improve patient experience out of normal office hours. With less staff around wards can feel lonelier at these times and our patients still need befriending, entertaining and supporting at evening mealtime (from 5pm) and at weekends. The commitment to being a Hospital Radio volunteer is one evening a week. With our Emergency Department often at its busiest of an evening and weekend, this is a great time to volunteer there.

Can I only volunteer over the summer holidays/Christmas period?

We ask that you are able to commit to two to three hours per week for a minimum of six months for any volunteering role. This is because of the many checks that form part of the recruitment process and to allow time for staff to get to know you and for you to feel part of a team. However, there are volunteering options outside the NHS which may be more suitable.

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Last updated: December 20, 2022