There are two priority roles that we require volunteers to undertake.
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 assistant
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:
Welcome team / wayfinder
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 / 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.
Buggy drivers provide a much need service giving lifts to patients around Wexham park hospital, with a similar service hopefully being introduced at Frimley park hospital in the near future. To be a buggy driver you must hold a driving licence and be comfortable talking to and assisting patients.
Not all roles are available at all the hospitals that the we manage. The Trust reserves the right to place a volunteer where needed, but will take a request of a particular role or area into account.
The Trust has three main hospitals with a need for volunteers. These being Frimley Park Hospital, Wexham Park Hospital and Heatherwood Hospital. Volunteers are also needed for Fleet and Farnham Hospitals.