The possibilities for volunteers to get involved in the work of the trust are endless. However you would like to help us, you can be sure that you are making a positive difference to everyone who walks through our door.
Volunteers at Frimley Health make a huge impact on the running of our hospitals and the wellbeing of our patients. We will take time to match your interests and skills with available opportunities so that we all benefit.
We have an enthusiastic team of over 500 valued volunteers working across the trust. Work patterns and time commitments vary but any help and support you can give is greatly appreciated by staff and patients alike.
How do I get involved?
If you would like to be considered for a volunteering role with the trust we would firstly invite you to one of our information sessions, which are held regularly a Frimley Park Hospital and Wexham Park Hospital. We will tell you all about the many volunteer roles available, how to apply, what you can expect to put in to the task and what you will get out of it. Each session lasts no more than an hour and at the end you will be given an application form to complete should you decide that volunteering at Frimley Health is for you. You will need to attend one of these sessions before applying to be a volunteer.
Unfortunately we can only accept your application if you are aged 16 or over.
Please email - Samaira.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your name, telephone contact number, which hospital you are interested in volunteering at and confirmation that you are aged over 16. We will book you on to an information session and respond with a date and time.
If you prefer you can write to: Information Session Registration, The Volunteers Office, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, SL2 4HL. Please include the same details as in email contacts above.
After you have attended an information session and put in your application you will be invited for an interview. If successful we will need to make a few checks on your reference, ensure you are fit enough to help us and complete a DBS (Disclosing and Barring Service check).
After this you will be invited to a trust induction day before you can start.
Training and mentoring are provided in all areas so please don’t worry that you would be thrown in at the deep end!
Ways you can volunteer at Frimley Health
There are two priority roles that we require volunteers to undertake. These are:
Patient companions play an important role in working with nurses to create a calm, caring and comfortable ward environment. Offering companionship and comfort to patients. Patient companions listen to a patient talk about hopes, fears and concerns. Their presence and empathy can counteract such negative emotions as loneliness, sadness and despair, which can hinder effective treatment. Instead, their sympathy encourages positive emotions such as happiness and relief, which can speed up the healing process.
Meal time assistants
Meal time assistants will assist with the feeding of patients on wards ensuring that patients being fed are given the appropriate meals and liaising with the ward staff regarding patients' choice of meals. They will also make sure that appropriate utensil and feeding aids are used at all times. Much of this role involves engaging patients’ in conversations during mealtimes. Meal time assistants will also make sure that all patients fed are offered and given a choice of fluid refreshments (within reason).
We also need volunteers for:
Volunteers working at the hospital reception desks warmly welcome patients, visitors and staff and help them with directions and information about the hospital. Their role is to provide a friendly face in an environment that may seem strange and bewildering.
Support on the wards or A&E
Work is varied and depends on the particular needs of the ward, but could include greeting new patients and visitors on the ward, listening, reading and chatting to patients, helping our play specialists prepare activities for sick children, assisting with feeding and drinking at meal times and running errands for patients and staff.
These volunteers talk to patients before they go home to ask them about their experience at Frimley Health. This involves spending approximately five minutes with each patient, asking questions and recording their responses. We need people who are available during the day and who are happy to go from ward to ward talking to different people.
We have a team of volunteers that offers pastoral, spiritual and religious support to patients, families and staff who may be experiencing a worrying time. Volunteers from many faiths assist the chaplains by visiting patients on the wards, help to take patients to services in the hospitals and ensure that requests to see the chaplains are passed on.
The trust has a well-established charitable fund which helps to pay for extra services, equipment and enhancements that you might not expect to find in an NHS hospital. We rely on volunteers helping our fundraising team to reach their targets.
Maternity volunteers / breastfeeding support
Our midwives appreciate the support offered by volunteers willing to guide and support new mums. This could be by helping to establish breastfeeding, being close by for assistance during a baby’s first bath, or even just fetching a tired new mum a hot cup of tea. Maternity volunteers are all trained in-house by our midwives.
Some of our wards have their own gardens for patients to relax in. Volunteers are vital to maintain these, particularly during the warmer months, and we always need help with weeding, watering and planting the raised beds and plant pots.
There are numerous clerical tasks that our volunteers help us with, such as filing, producing standard letters, answering the telephone and taking messages, making up information packs for new patients, laminating and photocopying, or working in our libraries. Helping us with administration really takes the pressure off front line staff on wards and in clinics, leaving them more time to devote to patients.
Support the audiology department
Our volunteers provide basic repairs to our patients hearing aids. They help with regular maintenance of the hearing aids and offer counselling and advice to our hearing aid users. They provide a fantastic service and are very much a part of our audiology team. We have volunteer clinics every Monday 10am to 12pm and Thursday 1pm to 4pm at Frimley Park Hospital and also a weekly Wednesday 1pm to 4pm clinic at Farnham Centre for Health running alongside our audiologists repair clinic. The volunteers receive their own list of patients and the audiologists are nearby should they need any assistance.
Our volunteer service has recently expanded its care by increasing the number of nursing homes our volunteers visit on a three monthly basis around Surrey and Hampshire.