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Volunteering

Group of volunteers in the gardenWe have more than 300 volunteers who give up their time to work in a broad range of roles across the hospital.

From volunteers who meet and greet patients and visitors arriving at the hospital, to those who support our staff in wards and departments, there are plenty of ways to get involved when you become a volunteer.

Our volunteers are an incredibly valuable asset – whatever the role, it makes a very real difference to our patients.

Find out how to apply here.


Your questions answered

Q: What do volunteers do?
A: Depending on the area they work in, our volunteers undertake a wide variety of activities including offering hot drinks to patients, helping with the completion of menu cards, undertaking errands, talking to patients and directing and escorting people around the Hospital.

Q: How much of a commitment would I need to give?
A: Each volunteer decides how much time they are able to offer. Some people come in for two hours a week, others volunteer for one to two days a week. Normally volunteers will undertake one session of two-three hours a week. We do ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of six months so it is important to think carefully about whether volunteering will fit into your life on a regular basis.

Q: Do you need any special skills to be a volunteer?
A: No, you don’t usually need any special skills to be a volunteer at Poole Hospital. Our volunteers are made up of a diverse range of people and it is more important that they have qualities such as friendliness, reliability and a genuine wish and willingness to help.

Q: Will I receive training?
A: All volunteers receive an all-day induction before they start their placement, and attend regular health and safety and fire lectures. They can also attend training about nutrition and patient feeding if they wish to do so.

Volunteers are invited to a Volunteer Discussion Group at regular intervals throughout the year where we have guest speakers, although there is no obligation to attend these meetings. We also arrange for volunteers to shadow an existing volunteer or member of staff on their first day.

Q: Is there an age limit?
A: Volunteers must be over the age of 16. However, as long as you are fit enough to undertake the role of a volunteer, there is no upper age limit.

Q: Will I volunteer at the same time each week and in the same ward or department?
A: Yes, volunteers normally work on the same day and time each week and volunteer in the same area.

Q: Is there flexibility?
A: Yes, we try to be as flexible as possible by offering a number of different volunteering options. Volunteers can also change to a different area or time, depending on availability. We do understand that volunteers are not always able to attend every week, but we ask that people let the ward or department know if they can’t come in, in order that they can make alternative arrangements.

Q: What’s in it for me?
A: Our volunteers have many different reasons for getting involved at Poole Hospital. Some wish to go into a career in the NHS and find that volunteering provides invaluable work shadowing experience. Others find that volunteering offers them the opportunity to improve their confidence prior to returning to work. Some wish to undertake a regular session of volunteering once they have retired in order to meet new people and others just wish to give something back.

Each year the hospital invites all volunteers for a Christmas dinner to thank them for their contribution and we usually get together to enjoy a cream tea in the summer.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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