Volunteer with service user


Each and everyday people are giving their time freely as an NHFT volunteer. We greatly value their contribution and appreciate the time they give to enhance and complement the care provided by paid staff.

A volunteer is someone who gives their time, skills or knowledge, freely and by choice, for no financial reward, to benefit others in the community.

Volunteers help in many different ways in our hospitals and services. There are a variety of roles including befriending on the wards, supporting occupational therapists, psychologists and clerical staff, as well as volunteering in roles such as gardening and as shop assistants.

The Trust welcomes volunteer applications irrespective of gender, race, colour, religion, ethnic or national origins, status, disability, mental health problems, age or sexual orientation.

Offers of support for the COVID 19 crisis

We are aware many people want to volunteer to help the NHS through this crisis and we thank you for your interest in helping us.

Last week the government launched the NHS Responder’s programme which is being delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) using the GoodSam app which is already used by NHS111 and ambulance trusts, we are directing all offers to support the crisis through this route so it is centrally coordinated.

We are aware at the moment their recruitment is on hold after they have received so many applicants and they need to catch up but it looks like it will reopen in a couple of weeks again.

Please follow instructions below:

  • register on the NHS Volunteer Responders page: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
  • complete your details and identify which volunteer role(s) you are interested in
  • once your registration and checks are complete you will be emailed a verification code and log-in details (ID checks will be carried out for all volunteers, and an enhanced DBS check for those volunteering as patient transport drivers; the latter will receive additional guidance)
  • download the GoodSam Responders app and log in
  • switch on the app when you are available for volunteering tasks.

Please note if you are looking to volunteer for NHFT not as a COVID 19 volunteer please complete the online application form and you will be contacted in due course.

Current Vacancies

These are a selection of our current volunteer vacancies. If you would like to apply please fill in the application form. If your application is complete with all the information we will reply with an invitation to attend an informal chat.

Table of current volunteer vacancies
Role What you will be doing Times available
Helper for the John Greenwood Shipman Centre
  • Help in preparing for the sessions.
  • Support staff with the activities.
  • General buddying/mentoring role with the children
Flexible throughout including weekends and evenings

Oral health Volunteers



  • To provide basic dental health advice and demonstrations in the community
  • Support dental dept in cascadintg of information and supporting vulnerable groups
Various days and times
Restraint Debriefer - Kettering
  • To carry out an interview with patients who have been involved in a restraint incident
  • Complete questionnaire
  • Feedback to staff as necessary
Various days and times

Gardeners -

St Mary's Hospital Kettering

Isebrook Hospital - Wellingborough


  • To help support with weeding and general garden maintenance

Various days and times


Rainbow Cafe - Helper

Berrywood Hospital Duston


  • Help set up and clear away café
  • Assistant in making and serving drinks and cakes
  • Welcome and chat to people using the cafe

Skills required:

  • Interest in and ability to work alongside people experiencing mental ill-health.
  • Good communication skills and a sense of humour.
  • A reliable and flexible nature.
First Sunday in the month from 1pm-3pm
Activites Support- The Squirrels Rushden
  • Help in preparing for the sessions.
  • Support staff with the activities
  • General buddying/mentoring role with the children

Weekdays 4-7

Weekends 10-6

Admin Support - The Squirrels Rushden
  • To support the department with admin related tasks and to help with an archiving piece of work
Mondays - Fridays between 9-5
Meet and Greet Roles - Northampton and Kettering
  • Meet and greet patients
  • Sign them in and out
  • Assist with setting up the clinic if required          
  • Replenish supplies as necessary
  • Help and encourage patients to complete ‘I want great care’ survey
Various times available


Volunteer Recruitment Process

  • Complete an application form
  • Attend an informal chat
  • Complete a health questionnaire
  • Complete a DBS check where appropriate
  • Provide references
  • Complete mandatory training necessary for the volunteer role
  • Preferably give a minimum of a six-month commitment, because of the investment in support for each volunteer
  • Sign a volunteer agreement that lays out expectations from the Trust and what the volunteer can expect from us

Frequently asked Questions

How long does the recruitment process take?

The process takes on average about four weeks, however, this will depend on a number of things including the speed in which occupational health and DBS clearances come through.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

In some areas where volunteers are ward-based a tabard is provided. This is for easy identification of the volunteer, to protect the volunteer’s clothes and help with infection control.

How old to I have to be?

The minimum age for volunteers in the Trust is 16, however in the mental health wards and palliative care the minimum age is 18.

I am a student that requires a placement as part of my course or study, can you help?

Work experience or placements are offered through our Learning and Development team, though not through our volunteering programme.

What training will I have to undertake?

There are eight modules of mandatory training that need to be done, these include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Equality, diversity and human rights
  • Fire safety
  • Health, safety and welfare
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Information governance
  • Manual handling
  • Safeguarding

How many hours do I have to give?

Because of the investment required for each volunteer, we prefer a minimum commitment of three hours a week for six months.

I’m claiming job-seeker’s allowance, can I still volunteer?

When claiming job-seeker’s allowance you must be able to prove to the authorities that you are available for work at all times. If you are requested by the authorities to attend interviews or appointments etc at short notice, then as a volunteer you must be willing to forfeit your activities/tasks on that particular day. It is always advisable, however, to check with your job-seeker advisor, before undertaking volunteer work.

Do I have to come for an interview and what will it involve?

All applicants for any Voluntary Services are required to attend an informal chat. This allows us to get to know you  better and to find out what sort of thing you are looking for. If also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions about volunteering. We will be able to discuss the various volunteer roles that we have available and find the best match for you.

I have a paid job, can I still volunteer?

If you have a paid job, we will endeavour to find a volunteer role that fits around your working hours.

Can I volunteer at the evening or weekends?

Some volunteer roles are available in the evening and/or at weekends. This is subject to ward/department requirements. Other roles such as administration may be limited to Monday to Friday during office hours.