At George Eliot NHS Trust we are incredibly proud of the dedication, compassion and ongoing support of our volunteers. Volunteers are a valued and essential part of our team and provide an invaluable contribution to our Trust and our patients.
Our dedicated team of volunteers have achieved thousands of hours service in the hospital; in addition our drivers have covered 1000s of miles and made 1000s of essential deliveries.
Volunteers help to improve and enhance the patient experience, complementing the work of employed staff across the Trust. We aim to represent the diversity of the community we serve.
We our building on our successes and scaling up volunteering. We have set up new services and projects and this means we have new volunteering opportunities available.
Although it can be hard to find time to volunteer, our hospital, like other NHS organisations, needs help from volunteers and we truly value your support. Benefits include:
- Volunteering in a Hospital offers insight into working in Healthcare and some of our volunteers have gone on to secure jobs at our hospital or elsewhere within the NHS
- Helping others gives you a chance to give back or make a difference to those people around you.
- Volunteering is good for your health and wellbeing.
- It can help protect both your mental and physical health.
- It is a great way to get involved and meet other like-minded people
- Volunteering offers an opportunity to develop new skills or to build on your existing experience and knowledge.
- For personal reasons; improve self-confidence, social interaction, reasons relating to their health.
We are always happy to welcome any new volunteers to our Trust with roles changing depending on requirements at different times. Current opportunities are outlined below.
Kind and compassionate, response Volunteers want to help support patients within patient areas (Wards, Theatres, Outpatients and clinical support services). Volunteer Responder responsibilities include:
- Support with refreshments and at meal times
- Deliver or collect items between departments
- Meet and greet patients and staff on arrival, record attendances
- Befriend Inpatients, read to them, listen to them, or help to connect with family or friends
- Help transfer or escort patients and wait with them where necessary
Our volunteer drivers work alongside several departments within the Trust to make deliveries to patients.
Our goodwill drivers deliver a variety of items from the hospital such as medication, diagnostic devices, surgical appliances and PPE Deliveries and equipment to our external services.
They may also collect items and return to hospital departments.
Admin and Clerical Support
Volunteers support administration and business services by:
- Answering routine telephone enquiries, photocopying, filing
- Completing questionnaires and surveys with patients
- Inputting data and supporting projects
Supporting People Affected by Cancer
Here at George Eliot Hospital, we do everything we can do to ensure our patients are cared for compassionately.
As a Cancer Support Volunteer you will offer support and information to patients, relatives and carers as well as listening to people affected by cancer.
This is a specialist volunteering role, where comprehensive training is provided. We particularly welcome applications by those who have experience of cancer [either as patient, or caring for someone].
We will share your expression of interest with our Cancer Information Services Lead for an informal discussion.
Hospital Greeters welcome people to the hospital at our main entrance, they also champion health and safety, reminding us to use hand gel or wash our hands and follow PPE guidelines wear masks.
In clinical or ward areas they may ask wellness questions and record attendances as required.
Love our Green Spaces (LOGS) Volunteers
If you enjoy working outside, can spare a few hours every week and can suggest creative ideas for making our outdoor spaces relaxing and pleasurable for patients and staff then we need your help.
Our green spaces promote wellbeing, providing fresh air and breakout spaces for all.
Our LOGS volunteers help to maintain our communal green spaces around the Trust.
We want our staff, patients and visitors to enjoy them and encourage everyone here to get involved.
Pastoral Support Volunteers
Pastoral Support Volunteers are expert listeners who are available to spend time listening to patients who want to talk.
Sometimes assigned to a specific ward, they will also help inform patients about other support that is available while they are staying with us at George Eliot Hospital.
This role is intended to improve the patient's experience and free up staff to give skilled care.
This is a specialist volunteering role and full training will be provided.
Chaplaincy Support Volunteer
Here at George Eliot Hospital our chaplaincy team is made up of a mix of ordained people and lay people from a number of different religions.
The chaplains regularly visit the wards and are always happy to see patients or visitors, to be a 'listening ear'. They are also available to pray with a patient or to offer the appropriate religious support.
There is a Chapel within the hospital which holds regular services.
Chaplaincy services are supported by volunteers - if you would like to get involved as a support volunteer the team will be happy to talk to you.
This is a specialist volunteering role and full training will be provided.
We provide continued support and offer training opportunities to our Volunteers relevant to their role.
We also engage with our Volunteers to fully utilise any special skills and interests that they may have.
We offer wellness checks, seasonal vaccinations, PPE and safe working practices, volunteering wear, reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses [including Fuel at an enhanced rate] meal vouchers and refreshments.
All volunteers are required to have a DBS check and occupational health screen, before commencing in their role.
Our amazing volunteers tell us a bit about their roles, why they volunteer and what they enjoy about it.
Aphra - Macmillan Volunteer
I have been volunteering with Macmillan for over 15 years now and have previously been volunteering at the Central Macmillan Team. I was looking for an opportunity for some more public-facing roles to provide support and help people to manage their conditions. I am very grateful that we have a local Macmillan Centre in the George Eliot so close to me as this lets me give back to my community. I really enjoy talking to local people and hearing their stories – providing support and signposting services that really make a difference in their lives. If anyone is considering becoming a volunteer I would really recommend it. It provides a fantastic routine and is rewarding to end the day being able to look back and knowing you’ve helped somebody.
David - Patient Forum Chair & Volunteer Driver
I originally started my volunteering journey in 2005 as part of the Patient Participation & Involvement Group, advocating for patient experience within the Trust. The Patient Forum then evolved from the PPI, which I have been chairing for 4 years. As critical friends of the Trust, we are very proud to work on behalf of Patients. More recently I have been volunteering to deliver Medication and other critical deliveries from the Hospital to Patients at home. I really enjoy being able to achieve things on behalf of Patients and Carers to bring about change for the better – working alongside George Eliot Staff and Volunteers. The Volunteer Driver role is also really rewarding when I see the relief and enjoyment on the faces that I deliver to.
Lynn - Vaccine Clinic + Volunteer Responder [Checkpoint]
I have always enjoyed being in a healthcare setting, either through work or volunteering as a young Cadet. Once I had retired I saw this as a great opportunity to lend more of my time to help out and to give back to my local community. I am really enjoying the contact with people and sharing their experiences. It was very satisfying being able to help on the Vaccine Clinic during the Vaccination programme and everyone there was so friendly. It’s also rewarding knowing that you are helping people and they are very grateful for our support. During my time volunteering so far I have been able to meet so many different people and every day has been different.
Mandy - Volunteer Responder [Ward Support & Checkpoint]
I personally wanted to be proactive in responding to Pandemic and I heard about GEH volunteering opportunities through my friends, some of which were already volunteers. I have had previous experience with volunteering as a Special in NBBC Police, which was rewarding but also scary at times. I find it reassuring that I am able to support the Hospital, delivering patient property to the wards and helping out where I am needed most. I’ve enjoyed all my time volunteering but in particular I found the iPad experience extremely rewarding. It was very emotional but an absolute privilege to be a part of connecting families during a time of separation. When beginning my Volunteering time I was at first a bit unsure of what to do on the Wards but my confidence soon grew.
Sue - Volunteer Responder [Vaccine Clinic + Checkpoint]
Admittedly I was unaware of the opportunities until it was mentioned in a call to action from the County Commissioner of Girlguiding. Due to changes in work circumstances, I had a lot more time to commit and wanted to give back to my local Hospital so I joined the Volunteering Team supporting the Vaccination Clinic during the Vaccine Rollout. I now Volunteer at the Checkpoint and really enjoy helping the Public. Feel really valued and useful. During a time when opportunities were limited the Volunteering opportunities here are a welcome change of pace. I also really enjoy helping out families during their most difficult times helping them communicate with their families who are currently on the Wards.