People who may be searching for new career opportunities, or a way back into work, are being encouraged to gain valuable experience through volunteering.
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) is offering a chance to join its ‘Volunteer to Career Pathway’ where gaining experience as a volunteer across its services could help lead to part-time, or full-time, employment.
Whether people are keen to change jobs, or looking for a gradual return to the workplace after long-term unemployment, sick leave, or redundancy, the Trust can support people through volunteering.
No experience is needed; volunteers just need to be 18 years old, or over, and interested in volunteering in healthcare.
To be able to join the Volunteer to Career pathway, people just need to complete 40 hours of volunteering over three months; they then have the chance to achieve a nationally-recognised qualification.
The scheme is ideal for anyone who wants to try-out working in healthcare before applying for a paid job or course, are unemployed and don’t have recent work experience or references, have been long-term unemployed, or have been turned down for jobs in the NHS due to lack of experience.
It is also aimed at existing NHS staff who may work in non-clinical roles and who are keen to support patient care.
Mandy Woolf, NHFT’s Voluntary Services Manager, said: “Our aim is to provide a route into work through volunteering. This pathway offers the experience and skills needed to be able to apply for NHS jobs, including as a Health Care Support Worker. You don’t have to pay for the training; you only need to volunteer your time with us. When the pathway is successfully completed, you will receive your Care Certificate, which is a national qualification and gives you a much better chance of securing a paid role in the NHS.”
Liz Sanders, NHFT’s Volunteer to Career Coordinator, said: “Volunteering is hugely rewarding and a great way to meet new people. Not only is it a fantastic way to boost your own self confidence and gain valuable skills and experience while helping others, it can lead to a fulfilling career in healthcare.”
Natalia Balica (pictured), who started as a volunteer for NHFT and now works part-time for the Trust, said: “When I started volunteering for NHFT, it was mainly in Corby for the Community Beds team. I used to help with the tea trolley, with lunchtimes, and just have a chat with people if they were on their own. I was then given the opportunity to qualify for a Care Certificate, and was supported all the way. I am so grateful for that. I'm not planning to stop here; I would like to do more training, and do a Level 3, and Level 4 NVQ and hopefully work full-time for the NHS. I told a few of my friends that if you do feel worried about anything just go and volunteer for a few hours and, believe me, you'll feel amazing after that.”
Anyone who is interested in volunteering, or would like more information, can contact the Trust’s Voluntary Services Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03000 274121.
Visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer for more information.