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Could you help to improve the experience of our patients?

Our volunteers are a vital part of the team. They all make a significant difference to our patients, visitors and our staff and their assistance, kindness and knowledge is greatly appreciated. With the increasing demands on NHS staff growing all the time, the need for this support is also increasing.

We continue to be immensely grateful to the 300+ men and women, of all ages and backgrounds who give their time so selflessly to provide non-clinical support.

 Some of the roles volunteers are involved in include:

  • Befriending Patients 
  • Ward Helpers
  • Meet and Greet
  • Chaplaincy
  • Members of the Patient Council
  • Gardening

Volunteering requires commitment, both of energy and time. Our volunteers are unpaid – apart from travel expenses – so why do it? There are many reasons, including: 

  • Job satisfaction

  • The chance to gain experience and develop new skill

  • Social contact and activity

  • The opportunity to help other people

  • A rewarding and fun experience 

Depending on the area they work, our volunteers undertake a wide variety of activities including talking to patients, making teas and coffees, helping to make beds ,signposting to services and escorting people around the hospital. By doing that little extra, volunteers can brighten a patients day.

No, you don’t usually need any special skills to be a volunteer at St Mary’s hospital. We provide all volunteers with general training and you will also be given specialised training relevant to your role, if needed. Our volunteers are made up of a diverse range of people and it is more important that they have qualities such as friendliness, a sense of humour, reliability and a genuine wish and willingness to help.

Each volunteer decides how much time they are able to offer. Some people come in for three hours per week, others volunteer for one to two days a week. Normally volunteers will undertake one session of 3-4 hours per 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.

We welcome volunteers from the age of 16 and there is no upper age limit, providing you are reasonably fit. All volunteers are interviewed to make sure we can find a role that is suitable.

If you are interested in volunteering, please follow this link http://www.jobs.nhs.uk and type in 'Isle of Wight' into the location search. You can then apply online for our volunteering positions. If there are no volunteering positions please keep checking on a regular basis as we update them all the time. Once we have received your application we will contact you to arrange an interview, so you can find out more about the volunteering opportunity and we can find out more about you. If you are successful at interview and feel the position is right for you then we will also ask you to complete;

  • A Health Questionnaire (now including a copy of your MMR vaccination from your GP)
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service Check (Previously CRB)
  • Two references from people who have known you for over two years (not a family member)
  • Risk Assessment (If under 18)
  • Mandatory Training
  • Volunteer Agreement

This paperwork can take around 6-8 weeks to complete. 

Once all of the paperwork is complete, new volunteers are invited to come in and meet with us to discuss their hours of work and collect their ID badge and uniform. On their first day, volunteers meet with a member of staff from the volunteer service who will accompany them to the ward/department they will be volunteering in, to introduce them to the team.

What volunteers say...

'Everyday is different – funny, sad, demanding, challenging – but never dull’

‘Volunteering really spices up my life. I would recommend every one of my friends to join in because it is such a great opportunity.’