Voluntary Services – Frequently Asked Questions
The volunteers make an immense contribution, and the Council of Governors and Board of Directors are extremely grateful that they choose to make Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) their place to volunteer, enriching the lives of our patients and carers.Ken Jarrold, CBEChair, Council of Governors and Board of Directors
Who can volunteer?
We welcome volunteers from all sections of the community and embrace differing ideas, skills and abilities. A diverse mix of people can help us to understand and best meet the needs of our service users.
The majority of our projects require volunteers to be over 18. There is no upper age limit providing you are fit and able to participate in the agreed role.
Volunteering offers the opportunity to:
- Use your spare time purposefully
- Give something back
- Gain an insight into potential career options
- Develop and refresh skills
- Meet new people
- Build confidence and self-esteem
The volunteering process
All volunteers are required to complete the following:
- A Volunteer Registration Form
- Attendance at a pre-arranged interview with a CNTW Voluntary Services Co-ordinator
- Satisfactory attendance at statuary and mandatory volunteer training facilitated by CNTW Voluntary Services, plus yearly and 3-yearly update
- Voluntary Services request and undertake two value-based references
- Please note – Volunteers are reimbursed with agreed actual out of pocket expenses for travel to and from their volunteering role, training and support meetings in line with our Trust policies.
How much time will I have to give?
We ask for a commitment of two to four hours per week for a minimum of 6 months (although a lot of our volunteers stay longer). We do not offer short term placements.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers participate in a wide range of non-clinical activities across CNTW, complimenting the work of healthcare professionals to enhance the experience of our service users and carers.
Where will I be volunteering and for how long?
The volunteering role will be mutually agreed between yourself and the Voluntary Services Co-ordinator. The choice will be based upon current vacancies and your personal interests, skills, experience, preferences and availability. All of our projects are established to enhance the experience of our service users and the days and times that projects run are organised to best meet their needs.
Will I receive training?
Before you commence as a volunteer you will be required to attend our Volunteer Induction Training. Further training may be required dependent upon your project choice (for example dementia friend awareness training). You will also be required to attend regular training updates.
Volunteers are reimbursed with agreed actual out of pocket expenses for travel to and from their volunteering role, training and support meetings in line with our Trust policies.
Please note, volunteers cannot use their voluntary role to fulfil study requirements for a qualification. You might be interested in doing an apprenticeship with us, more information can be found at Apprenticeships | Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (cntw.nhs.uk) or you can email the apprenticeships team on: Getin2CNTW@cntw.nhs.uk
What do people say about volunteering at CNTW?
It seems that the simple kindness shown by people who have no motive other than a wish to give their time, helps our service users feel valued and less isolated.A staff member
Social Activity Volunteers bring something unique and make a positive contribution to the service. I value the time and effort they put into their role and I know the patients enjoy their company too.A ward manager