Volunteering

If you have ever visited or stayed at Derriford Hospital or the Royal Eye Infirmary the chances are you will have come into contact with one of our 550+ volunteers. It could have been a Hospital Guide at the front desk at Derriford, a ward visitor, a chaplaincy helper, a shop or café volunteer, a Mustard Tree Day Centre befriender or even if you simply listened to Hospital Radio or read a St John’s library book, our volunteers can be found enhancing the quality of patient care throughout the Trust.

Our Trust welcomes volunteers to complement the work carried out by paid staff.  There are currently around 550 volunteers helping throughout the hospital but there is always room for more. If you are considering a career in the NHS volunteering is a great way to help you decide. 

For further information about volunteering please contact plh-tr.volunteerenquiry@nhs.net

Can you help us?  We are actively recruiting for the following positions:

NEW – Buggy Drivers

If you enjoy driving, and love being outdoors, the role of Buggy Driver will suit you down to the ground!  This brand new opportunity involves transporting patients and visitors from our Mobility Centre the short distance to the main entrance, and other parts of the hospital using a new electric buggy.  You’ll need a clean driving licence and be medically fit, but as part of a small team, your commitment could be as little as 2 hours per week. See Buggy Driver task description for more information.

NEW – Mobility Centre Guides

To complement the Buggy Service, we are looking for volunteers to be based in our new Mobility Centre, signposting patients and visitors and keeping them company while they wait for the buggy.  Tea/coffee and heating facilities will be provided.  The Mobility Centre is open every weekday and volunteers carry out either a morning or afternoon ‘shift’.

If you would like further information, please get in touch with our Volunteer Co-ordinator plh-tr.volunteerenquiry@nhs.net or apply using our application form.

Anyone over the age of 16 who is able to help on a regular basis for at least six months can apply.

Here are some of the areas where our volunteers can be found: 

Ward Visitors: If you would like to get involved on our wards, helping our patients, why not think about becoming a ward visitor?  Your role could include talking (and listening) to patients, helping with meals and refreshments, shopping, running errands or bed making.  You would normally visit the same ward on the same day each week and become part of the team.  Ward visiting is available every day and hours can usually be tailored to suit the individual, which is ideal if you are working, studying or retired!  For people considering a career in healthcare, this role offers an ideal opportunity to gain a real insight into hospital life. See Ward Visitor task description for more information.

Ward Visiting Team: These volunteers visit several wards each time they come in.  Their role is to chat and listen to patients, offer shopping and run errands.  The team meets each weekday morning and is a good opportunity to get to know other volunteers and make new friends. See  Ward Visiting Scheme for more information. 

Patient Surveys: We are keen to know what patients think about their stay in hospital and have a team of volunteers who visit the wards to find out.  Using an iPad (training is provided and it’s really not complicated) volunteers seek patients’ views to help us improve our services or let us know what we are doing well! See  Patient Surveys task description for more information.

Emergency Department – Friends & Family Test Volunteers: Our Emergency Department (ED) volunteers are pivotal in gaining views from patients being discharged, using a short, standard survey conducted using an iPad or paper.  We want to know what we do well – and not so well – to help us do even better! See Emergency Department Friend and Family Test task description for more information.

In addition, ED volunteers can help by running errands for staff and chatting to patients.  For those considering a career in healthcare, some work shadowing may also be possible – enabling you to see first-hand the workings of this busy service.  Minimum age 18.  Slots available throughout the week, training provided.

Hospital Guides: If you enjoy walking and talking then showing people around the hospital could be for you.  Based at the reception desk, Hospital Guides are always kept on their toes! See Hospital Guide task description for more information.

Outpatient Clinics: We are seeking additional volunteers for our busy outpatients areas to meet and greet visitors and patients, help them to book in and find their way to their clinic. This is a varied and interesting role. See Outpatients Clinic task description for more information.

Hospital Radio: Volunteers can be found presenting shows, helping with administration, behind the scenes or fundraising for this award-winning station.  Why not listen first on 87.7fm in the Plymouth area.

Derriford Hospital League of Friends: Derriford Hospital League of Friends has a gift/fruit shop and a bookshop in the main concourse. Volunteers attend a 2-3 hour shift, usually once a week.  Committee membership and fundraising are also areas where help is needed. Minimum age is 18 for shop volunteering.

Royal Voluntary Service Library: The Library trolley service offers patients a choice of books to borrow while they are in hospital, while the library itself is open to both patients and staff on Mondays and Thursdays.  Volunteers visit the wards with the trolley and are on-hand in the Library when it is open. 

Department of Pastoral/Spiritual Care: Volunteers can help in the chapel in a number of different ways, ranging from administration, pastoral ward visiting, assisting patients to the chapel services on Sunday, as part of a church team.  Volunteers are also welcome to provide and arrange flowers, on a rota, for the chapel itself. 

Mustard Tree/Macmillan Centre: This day centre for cancer patients and their relatives gives volunteers the opportunity to befriend visitors and offer general help.  Complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology are also offered by volunteers with appropriate qualifications and insurance.

Memory Café: We are looking for volunteers to support the Memory Café each Wednesday afternoon from 2.00pm-4.00pm in The Restaurant.  This role involves befriending patients, families and carers, chatting and listening; helping to serve refreshments and offering literature to those wishing to find out more about dementia and related illnesses. See Memory Cafe task description for more information.

REI Tea Bar: The Royal Eye Infirmary (REI) League of Friends runs a Teabar in the REIOutpatients Department on Level 3.  It’s open daily (excluding weekends) from 10-2 and welcomes new volunteers to join the rota.

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Volunteer Booklet

How can I apply?

Click here to find out how to apply.