1. Please note:

    UPDATE: Our Corby Crisis Cafe will be closed today from 5pm to 10pm. Our Wellingborough Crisis Cafe is open as usual from 12pm to 10pm. For 24-hour mental health support call 0800 448 0828.

     

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Volunteer overview

A volunteer is someone who gives their time for free and by choice. They often have skills or knowledge that they want to share.

Volunteers help in many different ways. There are a number of roles volunteers can take on in our Trust. Our volunteers make a difference by working on our wards, supporting our teams and even gardening for us. We hope that you find this page useful.

Volunteering for NHFT can also be a direct route into part or full-time employment (see Volunteer 2 Career tab below).

You can contact our Volunteer Team by email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk or by phone: 03000 274109.

Please be aware we have a large number of applications and limited roles available. It may therefore take some time to find a suitable role for you. To find out more about further opportunities to volunteer in helathcare please visit the Volunteer Passport website

Recruitment process and mandatory training

As part of the recruitment process to become a volunteer with us, you need to complete some mandatory training.

This is the Health Education England Volunteering Learning Programme which is national training for NHS volunteers.

You can start this training at any time before completing the application form.

You will need to register on the Volunteer Learning Portal at the following web address: https://volunteers.e-lfh.org.uk/

Once logged into the portal, go to “My eLearning” and select “Volunteer Learning (VTW)”. You will then see the list of volunteer learning modules available.

Each is a short eLearning session with a multiple-choice test at the end. You can repeat the tests if you do not pass first time.

Below are the modules you must complete to volunteer with us:

  • Roles and responsibilities of a volunteer - one off
  • Data security awareness - yearly
  • Conflict resolution - every 3 years
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights - every 3 years
  • Safeguarding adults - every 3 years
  • Safeguarding children - every 3 years
  • Fire safety - yearly
  • Moving and assisting - every 3 years
  • Mental health awareness - every 3 years
  • Safeguarding child sexual exploitation (CSE) - every 3 yeas
  • Resuscitation (Basic life support) - one off

You have the option to complete any further modules if you want to achieve the National Volunteer Certificate.

Once you have completed all the above modules, please go to “My activity – Reports” to download all your results in one report. Select “Activity record (summarised)” and “Download as PDF”. If you join us as a volunteer you will need to send this as evidence.

Volunteer Recruitment Process

Volunteer Recruitment Process

  1. Fill out a Volunteer application form
  2. Meet us for an informal chat
  3. Fill out a health questionnaire
  4. Fill out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check where appropriate
  5. Give us the contact details of people we can contact for a reference
  6. Do any training needed for the volunteer role - we will let you know if you need to do this
  7. Sign a volunteer agreement that explains what the Trust expects of you and what you can expect from us.

If possible, we ask volunteers to commit to at least six months of volunteering with us.

You can download a flow chart of our  Volunteer recruitment process [pdf] 128KB


You can open the volunteer application form here.

 

Volunteer FAQs

Volunteer FAQs

How long does the recruitment process take?

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks on average, but this will depend on a number of things including how quickly we are able to get the results of your checks and questionnaires back. 

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Volunteers who are on site will be required to wear a uniform, this will be explained to you during the recruitment process.

How old to I have to be?

You have to be at least 16 to be a volunteer. In some areas of the Trust you will need to be at least 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 by our Learning and Development team - click here for more information. 

What training will I have to undertake?

There are eight modules of 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?

We ask volunteers to commit to 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 that you are available for paid work at all times. We advise you to check with your job-seeker advisor, before taking a volunteer role.

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

Everyone who wants to be a volunteer will have an informal chat; this could be in person, a video meeting or phone call. This is not a formal interview, we will explain more about what it’s like to volunteer with us and chat to you about your interest in volunteering, including what type of volunteer role might suit you, when you would like to volunteer and what your availability is. We will try and identify a suitable role in this meeting.

I have a paid job, can I still volunteer?

If you have a paid job, we will try 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 or at weekends, depending on the needs of the ward or service. Other roles such as administration may only be needed Monday to Friday during office hours.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteer Driver

Location: Cynthia Spencer Hospice and Cransley Hospice - Countywide

Department:  Wellbeing

Hours required: Flexible to suit individuals, minimum of 3 hours a week commitment is preferred.

Aim of volunteering role: To transport patients to appointments requested by Hospice teams

Volunteer tasks:  

The volunteer’s duties may include:

  • Being available for teams to contact with transport details
  • To pick up and drop off patients in time for appointments and groups
  • Engaging with patients during journeys
  • Feeding back any concerns promptly to the team
  • Completing accurate expenses claims on a regular basis
  • Comply with all policies and procedures in every aspect of the role

Interests and Skills:   

This role is suitable for volunteers who are:

  • Caring, considerate, patient and understanding
  • Flexible, reliable and helpful
  • Confident engaging with all kinds of people in a friendly manner
  • Interested in helping people

DBS Required: Yes

Additional Requirements:

  • MOT
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Vehicle Tax

Training and Induction:  You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Driver (pools cars)

Location: Berrywood Hospital

Hours required: Flexible to suit individuals, minimum of 3 hours per week commitment is preferred.

Aim of volunteering role: To provide transport for patients and service users as requested using NHFT’s pool cars

Volunteer tasks:  

The volunteer’s duties may include:

  • Being available for teams to contact with transport details
  • To pick up and drop off patients in time for appointments and groups
  • Engaging with patients during journeys
  • Feeding back any concerns promptly to the team
  • Completing accurate expenses claims on a regular basis
  • Comply with all policies and procedures in every aspect of the role

Interests and Skills:   

This role is suitable for volunteers who are:

  • Caring, considerate, patient and understanding
  • Flexible, reliable and helpful
  • Confident engaging with all kinds of people in a friendly manner
  • Interested in helping people

DBS Required: Yes

Additional Requirements: Full driving licence

Training and Induction:  You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Teaching Assistant 

Location:  Various locations and from home

Department: Learning, Disability and Autism

Hours Preferred: Flexible to suit individuals                                                         .

Role Summary: Support for the facilitator trainer for the Oliver McGowan training

Volunteer tasks:

The volunteer’s duties may include:

  • Supporting the trainer to facilitate the training to ensure attendees needs are met.
  • Support co-trainers with lived experience of a learning disability and/or who are autistic to succeed in the role, to include learning the role, delivery of training and any admin as required.
  • Be an additional person available to support individuals on the courses.
  • To ensure any reasonable adjustments are in place for the Trainers and attendees.

Interest and Skills:

This role is suitable for volunteers who:

  • Are able to think creatively to support people with various learning disabilities to be able to deliver training
  • Have an open mind when supporting people
  • Like building relationships with individuals and can easily build rapport
  • Have an interest in training health and social care staff
  • Have a positive view of autism and learning disability

DBS Required: Yes

Training and Induction: You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Telephone befriender

Location:  From home

Department: Voluntary Services

Hours Preferred: Flexible to suit individuals, a minimum of 4 hours per week commitment required                                                                 .

Role Summary: The befriending service is available to anyone who could benefit from telephone support.  Our volunteer befrienders offer support to clients who are lonely or isolated, have been in hospital, are unable to attend social groups or just need someone to talk to.  We offer wellbeing support for clients with mental and physical difficulties.  This service is available long term or for however long the client requires the support. We are not a clinical service.

Volunteer tasks:

  • Complete relevant training for role, e.g. how to access information, how to carry out support phone call, how to record information, how to feedback to the team, how to access support
  • To offer telephone social support calls referring to crib sheet provided if needed
  • To support other volunteers also making social support calls
  • To become part of the team gathering of resources, coming up with ideas to improve the service

Interest and Skills:

This role is suitable for volunteers who have:

  • An interest in and ability to work alongside people from various backgrounds.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • A reliable and flexible approach.
  • Basic computer skills.
  • Good level of literacy.
  • Ability to support people with mental and physical wellbeing.

DBS Required: Yes

Training and Induction: You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Therapy Assistant - Pampering 

Location:  Berrywood Hospital/ St Mary's Hospital

Department: Inpatient Services Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy (adult and older peoples’ services)

Hours Preferred: Flexible to suit individuals, a minimum of 3 hours per week commitment required                                                         .

Role Summary: To enhance the experience of service users whilst in hospital through provision of social and engaging activities in the Occupational Therapy department and ward environments.

Volunteer tasks:

  • Liaise with OT and physio staff and identify suitable patients for the activities on each occasion.
  • Undertake planned activities within the Occupation Therapy department and ward environment.
  • Encourage interest and motivation of patients to participate.
  • Work within health and safety guidelines.

Interests and Skills:

  • Specific skills related to offering pampering sessions i.e. hair, nails, massages.
  • 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.

DBS Required: Yes

Training and Induction: You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

Additional Requirements: Qualifications related to the pampering activity where necessary

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Meet and Greet/ Receptionist

Location:  The Watermill Resource Centre/ Berrywood Hospital

Department: Centre for Neuromodulation

Hours Preferred: Flexible, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (between 8am to 5pm)                                            .

Role Summary: To support the team and enhance service users experience

Volunteer tasks:

The volunteer’s duties may include:

  • Supporting staff with clients
  • Adminstration tasks
  • Meeting and greeting patients
  • Providing drinks for patients
  • Answering the telephone and taking messages

Interests and Skills:

This role is suitable for volunteers who:

  • Have an interest in working with adults (18 years and above) who health needs
  • Volunteers that want to pursue a career in healthcare particularly in Mental health
  • Students studying: Nursing/Psychology/Occupational Therapy/Healthcare roles.
  • Someone that enjoys engaging with people and making them feel welcome

DBS Required: Yes

Training and Induction: You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Play Assistant  

Location:  Sudborough House - St Mary's Hospital

Department: Specialist Children's Services

Hours Preferred: Flexible to suit individuals, a minimum of 3 hours per week commitment required                                                         .

Role Summary: Sudborough House facilitates clinic appointments for children and young people aged 0-18 years, with a range of need both physical and emotional/ mental health and wellbeing. The volunteer play assistant will have the opportunity to manage the waiting area through the use of play. Offering appropriate activities for young people such as drawing, coloring, outdoor play, music, the opportunity to access a quieter area for those requiring less or for those who find the area too stimulating.

Volunteer tasks:

The volunteer’s duties may include:

  • Liaison with reception team to understand the day’s appointments
  • Setting up activities
  • Cleaning play equipment
  • Managing the safe storage of play equipment
  • Initiating play with children & young people

Interests and Skills:

This role is suitable for volunteers who:

  • Have experience of play therapy
  • Have experience of music therapy
  • Have an understanding of alternative communication
  • Have an understanding of Learning Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

DBS Required: Yes

Training and Induction: You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

Additional Requirements: Qualifications related to the pampering activity where necessary

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Spiritual Wellbeing Volunteer   

Location:  Berrywood Hospital

Department: Spiritual Wellbeing

Hours Preferred: Flexible - as agreed with supervising chaplain                                                 .

Role Summary: To assist the Spiritual Wellbeing Department in the provision of groups for inpatients at Berrywood Hospital.

Volunteer tasks:

The volunteer’s duties may include:

  • Action for Happiness Cafes and EDI Workshops
    • To assist with preparation and setup/pack down for monthly Action for Happiness Pop Up Cafes (First Friday of the month 10:30-11:30am)
    • To assist with preparation and setup/pack down for EDI (Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion) workshop sessions
    • Be responsible for serving refreshments during the sessions
    • To welcome attendees and be a welcoming presence during the sessions
    • To assist attendees with tasks/interactions as required
  • Planter/Garden
    • To tend and water plants regularly

Interests and Skills:

This role is suitable for volunteers who:

  • Have an interest and ability in working alongside people experiencing poor mental health.
  • Have an Interest and ability to work within the ethos of the Spiritual Wellbeing Service (non-directive, non-judgemental, open and welcoming to those of all faiths and none).
  • Are sociable, have good communication skills and a sense of humour.
  • Are reliable and have a flexible nature
  • Are proactive but are also able to follow direction

DBS Required: Yes

Training and Induction: You will be given full training and induction in line with the volunteer role you are undertaking

Additional Requirements: Be committed and able to work within a modern Spiritual Wellbeing Service that is strictly non-proselytising, non directive and is open to those of faith and no faith.

For more information email volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk

To apply, please complete this applicaton form.

Volunteer Befriending service

Befriending service

Our aim is to provide a telephone listening support service to anyone who could benefit from social support. The service supports people who are lonely or isolated, have been in hospital or who are unable to attend social groups. Befriending phone calls are more than just a chat, as we aim to build a relationship between you and our volunteer. 


These calls do not form or replace any clinical support. We cannot provide medical advice or solve any issues for you but we do provide opportunities to talk to someone different and have vital social interaction. All our volunteers have been through their relevant training and vetting checks and are good listeners, able to empathise with the person they are phoning. 


Although informal, our conversations are confidential but a brief summary does need to be shared with the administrator. This is to help our records, with your consent, and is passed to healthcare professionals if necessary, as part of our Duty of Care and safeguarding regulations. This applies to information that might affect immediate safety, and our volunteer will ask your permission to raise this with the emergency services or our administration team for help as needed.

Who can access this Service?

Anybody who feels that they could benefit from regular calls from a friendly volunteer caller, maybe because they are feeling lonely, isolated, vulnerable, anxious, possibly can’t talk to family or friends about some things, or would just like regular contact for any other reason.

How to access this service

The service can be accessed by either a referral from a healthcare professional from any NHFT service, via System One or you can self-refer  to us by contacting the Administrator on: 03000 274109 or via email to: Befrienders.Service@nhft.nhs.uk

Volunteer 2 Career

Volunteer 2 Career

Our aim is to provide a route into work through volunteering, for people who are interested in a career within healthcare.
This pathway will give you the experience and skills you need to be able to apply for NHS jobs, including as a Health Care Support Worker (HCSW).
You do not have to pay for the training. You only need to volunteer your time with us. 
When you successfully complete the pathway 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.

Who can join the pathway

  • Anyone who has an interest in paid work in healthcare and who volunteers with us can join. No other experience is needed!
  • You will need to go through the recruitment process to become a volunteer and complete 40 hours of volunteering over 3 months.
  • Volunteers must be aged 18 years or over to move onto the Volunteer to Career training programme.
  • You may have the opportunity to do Functional Skills (English and Maths) courses through us, if needed, to help prepare you for the training and career opportunities.

This pathway could be a great opportunity for you if:

  • You are looking for a change in career.
  • You’re not sure if a career in healthcare is for you and want to try it out before applying for a paid job or course.
  • You are unemployed and do not have recent work experience or references.
  • You have been off work for a long time due to ill health, or other reasons, and need a gradual route back into work.
  • You have been turned down for jobs in the NHS due to lack of the right knowledge and experience.

If you are interested in volunteering or want more information, please contact our Voluntary Services Team .
Email: volunteering@nhft.nhs.uk 
Telephone:  03000 274121

 

Volunteer 2 Career - case study 

Tom Stewart started out as a porter for NHFT, but after two years in the job, he joined the NHFT Volunteer to Career Pathway which helped him secure a role as a Healthcare Assistant at the Forest Centre’s Spinney Ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Kettering. He was recently nominated for an NHFT Quality Award.
Tom said: “Whilst I enjoyed being a porter, I needed a new challenge and wanted to give something back to the community. Through the Volunteer to Career programme, which my colleagues had mentioned to me, I started volunteering at NHFT’s Forest Centre looking after older adults with dementia, and would assist with feeding and personal care. It was really rewarding, and it felt that I was making a difference to people’s lives and wellbeing. The Forest Centre and Training Team were very supportive when I was volunteering – and inspiring too! I achieved a National Carers Award, through the programme, and was asked if I wanted to apply for a permanent post in Spinney Ward, for which I was successful. To anyone thinking of joining the Volunteer to Career pathway, I’d say it’s a great opportunity; everyone is very supportive and flexible.”

Meet some of our volunteers

Meet some of our volunteers

Sue Dainty

“I am a listening ear, very often for those who have no-one else to share their thoughts or concerns with”

Sue Dainty has been volunteering for NHFT since October 2022, and in that time has been a friendly voice on the phone for people with mental health challenges. For Sue, hearing somebody laugh after a negative start to the conversation is a hugely rewarding part of her role, and her invaluable support is helping people across Northamptonshire.      

Volunteer Sue Dainty Sue said: “It was a natural transition; I began with the Befriending Service, as a result of my Peer Support Training Practice Placement, and have continued volunteering since then. I’d never volunteered until now, but I find it extremely rewarding. I am a befriender for those who live with mental health illnesses. Once a week I ring people who have been referred into the service from various organisations – mainly health related. I spend however long is required for each call; it can vary from two minutes to 50 minutes. I am a listening ear, very often for those who have no-one else to share their thoughts or concerns with. We can also chat about our hobbies, families, places we have visited – even the good old British weather!”

Sue added: “Knowing that I am there for people, and being able to understand how a person is feeling, gives me a sense of fulfilment. It’s about building a rapport and getting to know someone over the telephone. I use my life experiences to help others in similar situations, have a laugh with them, and learn about their life journeys.

“It can be a mentally-demanding role, so it’s important to look after your own well-being too. But I am totally supported in the role; I can ring my Befriender Calls Administrator or the Volunteer Services Manager at any time and I know they are there to provide reassurance and support.

“To anyone thinking of volunteering, it is so rewarding; it makes life more interesting and giving your time to others is great for your own well-being. I am so passionate about NHFT; they are one big family, extremely supportive, and I could not volunteer for anyone more appreciative.”

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.

 

Hayley Dodkins

“Volunteering with NHFT led to a job!”

When Hayley Dodkins started volunteering with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) she was immediately made to feel part of the team. As well as being hugely rewarding, volunteering, for Hayley, was a pathway into employment, and she now has a job with the Trust which she loves.

Volunteer Hayley Dodkins Hayley said: “I started volunteering in May 2022 with the Children's Eating Disorder Services in the admin team. I wanted to start volunteering in the children and young person services to gain experience with the prospect of future employment within NHFT. Whilst volunteering I helped by answering the door, scanning patient documents and updating the team board in the reception area with photos and names. The team was very welcoming, and I was treated as part of the team instantly. I enjoyed these interactions with staff members as well as learning about how the service works and seeing healthcare from a different perspective. However, when staff levels in the admin team increased there was less for me to help with. But the volunteering team were very supportive, and, through links with the involvement team and then the participation team, I became aware of a paid ‘carer peer support worker’ role. I applied for it, and got it! Volunteering gave me a ‘foot in the door’ and I’m now employed by the NHFT, and really excited for a future in healthcare. I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone who is considering volunteering, in an area they are interested in or feel passionate about, to go for it! It can lead to lots of opportunities, as well as having the potential to make a big difference in the lives of others.”

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.

 

Gary Shaeffer

“You can learn a lot from patients’ outlook on life”

When Gary Shaeffer’s wife passed away ten years ago, he wanted to use his time to make a difference – so he started volunteering at the Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton.

Gary said: “When my wife died of cancer, I found myself with a lot of spare time which I wanted to put to good use. I’d previously volunteered for MacMillan, and had heard of the Cynthia Spencer Hospice as friends had been patients. So I met the volunteer coordinator and got started. It’s been an amazing ten years; I volunteer on the ward three days a week, bringing round the drinks trolley, and chatting with patients and their families. I get to work directly with patients and enjoy developing a relationship with them and making a difference. The hospice team and nursing staff are very nice and appreciative. I’ve got to know the nursing staff and hotel services team really well and I’ve had very positive feedback. Whilst some patients are very ill, they often want to chat, and you can learn a lot from patients’ outlook on life. To anyone thinking of volunteering, I say do it! Be willing to learn, and try it out.”

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.

 

Annette Bartholomey

“It’s nice to go home feeling I have made a difference in some way”

Annette Bartholomey has been volunteering at Cransley Hospice, at the St Mary’s Hospital site in Kettering, since September and got involved because, after retiring, she had a little more time on her hands and wanted to help others.

Volunteer Annette Bartholomey Annette said: “Due to being retired, I had more time and felt I could contribute; I also had friend who was a nurse. As part of the role, I support on the ward, talk to patients and visitors, and help replenish supplies. It’s great having some adult company and a feeling of being useful to others. I always want to find ways to be most helpful to staff and patients, and I am always thanked at the end of every shift. This is really appreciated. It’s lovely chatting to others and having good conversations, and nice to be able to go home feeling I have made a difference in some way. I’d definitely encourage people to try volunteering, but find the best role for you. For example, reception, gardening or ward duties, there can be lots of variety of roles that can be tailored to suit you.”

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.

 

Natalia Balica

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”

Being so far away from her family led Natalia Balica to begin volunteering in 2017, and also because it had always been her ambition to work for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT). She now works as a part-time healthcare assistant for the Trust, and always looks out for those volunteering, as she once did, and reminds them how valued and important they are.

Volunteer Natalia Balica Natalia, a bank staff healthcare assistant at NHFT’s Community Beds service for patients who need 24-hour care, 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 always looked up to the Healthcare Support Workers; I wanted to help them and to be like them. I used to think, one day I’d like to get there, to have that uniform, you know. So yeah, that was one of the main things after that, I wanted to work in that area.”

She said: “It was really nice to see how people are looked after, and how kind the staff are with people. 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 loved chatting with patients, listening, and supporting them. It was great working in a team who are welcome and supportive; it meant a lot to me. It’s always great to see the volunteers – especially young people. Even now, when I'm on my shift, and I meet volunteers, I always say they are doing an amazing job; and chat to them about why it’s so important for us to have so many more volunteers. When you apply to university, I am told you have to have some volunteering hours; it doesn't matter in what area. And now I understand why. You'll appreciate everything that you will go through if you volunteer a little bit. It opens your eyes and help you understand more about life. 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.”

Natalia added: “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. It's not about time, it's about how you feel when you’re volunteering. To anyone thinking about volunteering, do it; don't think too much about it, just do it and enjoy every moment. It's like your battery’s charging every time you volunteer! I told a few 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. You'll feel so pleased and so proud that you helped someone feel listened to, supported, and valued.”  

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.

 

Dolores Monroe

“Wonderful friendships are formed, and people look forward to my calls”

As a Befriender Volunteer for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), Dolores Monroe gives people a ‘lift’ and puts a smile on their face, simply by being a friendly voice on the end of the phone, which can make all the difference to someone feeling lonely or depressed.

Dolores said: “I have been a Befriender Volunteer for NHFT since January 2022. I had thought of doing something to help others in some capacity, and thought of volunteering in a hospital, but when filling in the volunteer's application form, to my joy, there was an option of being a Befriender Volunteer which became my first choice. I really enjoy my chats with people with different needs; some are joyous, some are humorous, some can be quite sad, and sometimes it just involves listening and trying to give people a lift when they are feeling down, depressed or lonely. I like to think that I am the friendly voice at the end of the phone.”

She added: “I get to learn more about the people I call and understand what difficulties they may have. Wonderful friendships are formed, especially when you know you have been of some help, and that they look forward to the calls. The administrators are also very helpful and always there if, and when, needed and the positive feedback we get from team meetings is very encouraging.

I am very happy being a Befriender, and I would certainly recommend volunteering to anyone who would dearly like to know that they can make a difference to the lives of others.”

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.

 

Mo Palmer

“Everyone I work with is so helpful and happy.”

In over 30 years of volunteering for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Mo Palmer has seen a lot of changes, and says the best bit is “being with people”. The hospice, located in Kettering Road, Northampton, has 16 beds and is supported by a team of nurses, doctors, healthcare professionals and volunteers, who are experts in palliative care for those with a life-limiting illness, and their families.

Mo said: “Back in 1991, I had just completed my training, at Northampton College, when I saw an advert in a newspaper from the Cynthia Spencer Hospice. I met the Sister there and began training with her and qualified. Since then, I’ve provided complementary therapy, support patients and staff, and sometimes families at the hospice. I also provide massage and reflexology.

I enjoy being helpful and hopefully bringing peace to patients at a difficult time. I love being with people, and helping them find time to relax, whether it’s staff at the hospice or patients. The feedback I get is that people always enjoy the treatment; patients are grateful too, and enjoy the one-to-one contact.

I’d definitely recommend volunteering here. A lot of people think the hospices are only places for people to die, but there are many reasons people come, and volunteers are really appreciated. It is actually a very happy place, with a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. The people I work with are so helpful and happy.”

Find out more about how you, or someone you know, could be a volunteer at www.nhft.nhs.uk/volunteer or call 03000 274109.