What do volunteers do?
Our volunteers enhance the service already provided by paid staff; they do not replace paid staff. We offer a wide variety of volunteering roles, ranging from volunteering in wards and clinical areas to supporting visitors coming into the hospital. Take a look at our list of current volunteer opportunities to see if there's something that will suit you. The placement profiles available on this web site will also give you more information about the sorts of things that our volunteers do.
Will I be interviewed?
Yes. We hold interviews to help us get to know you find out what skills you can offer and explore what you would like to do when you volunteer. We will also talk about any training you will need for the position.
Can I choose where I volunteer?
We offer a wide variety of placements throughout the Trust. During your interview you will be asked where you would like to volunteer, what skills you can bring and what you are hoping to gain from the placement. This will help us to find the most suitable placement for you. We will do our best to accommodate your request. If, for any reason, your placement doesn't work out or you would like a change we will do our best to find an alternative.
Do all applicants get accepted for volunteering?
We receive a lot of applications, so we are not always able to place everyone - but we do our best to do so. This is why it is important that you provide us with as much relevant information as possible in your registration form and at interview.
Will I be able to volunteer immediately?
All volunteers must go through the necessary disclosure and barring checks, references, occupational health clearance and training. This can take some time to complete. The time between us receiving an application and the start of a placement is typically around eight weeks - assuming that paperwork is completed promptly and a suitable role is available.
Will I get any training?
Once you start volunteering you will attend our volunteer training programme and receive further training appropriate to the ward or department. Once you are in a volunteering role, there may be further opportunities for training - this is something you can discuss with your placement manager or the Voluntary Services Manager.
Can I volunteer if I am under 18?
For health and safety reasons, most voluntary placements are for those aged above 18, although we do place some 16 and 17 year olds.
I am free over the summer holidays - can I volunteer for this period only?
Due to the length of our recruitment and training we ask you to commit to a minimum of six months for a volunteering role.
How long and how often can I volunteer?
Most volunteers do half-day sessions, mornings or afternoons, usually once a week, although some choose to do a full day once a week. Most of our opportunities are Monday to Friday but we do have some opportunities available during evenings and weekends. We are very flexible and always happy to discuss alternatives that fit in with your own commitments.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete an application form. Once we have received your form you will be invited to an interview to discuss the opportunities available and try to match your skills with current vacancies.
What will happen to my benefits if I volunteer?
The document 'Volunteering while getting benefits' will provide you with more information. In nearly all cases benefits will not be affected but you must talk to Jobcentre Plus before you start any volunteering.
Can I claim expenses?
We pay travel expenses to our volunteers and encourage them to use the local bus service. Facilities are available for those who wish to cycle. Expenses are usually claimed on a monthly basis by producing receipts. Staff parking permits are available for volunteers.
Where can I volunteer?
Here are some examples of departments and services where volunteers are needed:
Outpatients, wards, maternity, reception, Stars Appeal, hospital radio, chaplaincy, recycling , League of Friends, helping patients at mealtimes, administration, Horatio's Garden and the hospice.
Are there any volunteering opportunities with other organisations?
We work closely with the RVS, Salisbury Hospice and Radio Odstock. Do-it also have some opportunites in the area. Please visit their websites for further information.