Gloucestershire Care Services recognises the tremendous value that volunteers bring to the organisation through a variety of different roles that enhance services we provide to our patients.

Volunteering is about improving the lives of our patients and service users, and it can be as simple as a volunteer giving their time and friendship.

Our aim is that volunteering within Gloucestershire Care Services should be a positive experience for all involved.

Volunteers are based both in the community hospitals and specialist community teams across Gloucestershire. The Trust also has a 'Green Gym' project at Cirencester hospital - more details in the drop-down section below.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering can be a stepping stone into employment or training, provide an opportunity to meet new friends and a way of giving something back to the local community. 

We have a wide variety of volunteer roles and will try to find a role that is a good match for your interests and skills. 

Our Volunteer Roles

Here is a list of our volunteering opportunities in Gloucestershire. You can find more information about each roles below. 

Location 

Bourton on the Water

-Gardening volunteers

-Conversation Partners

Cheltenham

-Welcoming volunteers, Independent Living Centre

-Conversation Partners

Cirencester

-Gardening volunteers

-Green Gym volunteers

-PAT dogs

-Shop volunteers

-Newspaper trolley volunteers

-Welcoming volunteers 

-Chaplaincy volunteers

-Health records volunteers

-Ward befrienders/companion volunteers

-Meal Mates

-Leg Club Café volunteers

-Hairdressing volunteers

-Conversation Partners

Dursley

-PAT dogs

-Befriending volunteers

-Trolley volunteers

-Conversation Partners

Forest of Dean

-Ward befrienders/companion volunteers

-PAT dogs

Gloucester

-Homeless Healthcare volunteers

-MacMillan Next Steps volunteers

-Expert Patient Programme volunteers

-Welcoming volunteers, Quedgeley Clinic

Moreton in Marsh

-Gardening volunteers

-Ward befrienders/companion volunteers

-Sweet trolley volunteers

-Conversation Partners

Stroud

-PAT dogs

-Refreshment Bar volunteers

-Welcoming volunteers 

-Chaplaincy volunteers

-Ward befrienders/companion volunteers

-Conversation Partners

-Bedmaking volunteers

Tewkesbury

-Welcoming volunteers

-Health records/admin support volunteers

-Drinks round volunteers

-Ward befrienders

-Shop trolley volunteers

-Conversation Partners

Information about types of volunteering 

Conversation Partners

The Conversation Partner Scheme is run by the Speech and Language Therapy team and operates throughout Gloucestershire.  Volunteers are paired with people with dysphasia (communication difficulties caused by a stroke). Volunteers meet up for one hour per week with their partner and provide companionship and friendship to people who might otherwise be at risk of becoming isolated in their homes. Conversation Partner volunteers attend a training day run by the Speech and Language Therapy team, where they learn more about dysphasia and discover a range of communication techniques to help them in their volunteer role.

The valuable work of the Conversation Partners was acknowledged in the 2017 Celebrating You Awards, where two volunteers, Peter Harney from Dursley and Amy Jefferies from Cinderford, were joint winners of the Trust’s Volunteer Of The Year award. 

The Conversation Partner Scheme is always in need of new volunteers and will try to match volunteers with partners nearby. If you or somebody you know are interested in volunteering, or would like to know more about the scheme, please contact Louise Walters or Jill Featherstone on 0300 422 8105 or by email cps@glos-care.nhs.uk.

Gardening Volunteers

Gardening is good for you! There is a growing body of evidence to support gardening and Horticultural Therapy use in patients with improving a wide range of conditions, including physical and mental health problems as well as helping with obesity, lack of exercise, healthy eating, stress, anxiety and social isolation. 

We currently have gardening volunteers helping to maintain the grounds at Cirencester Hospital, North Cotswolds Hospital and the George Moore Clinic. Our volunteers make a real difference with pruning, weeding, tending to pots and watering, particularly over the summer months. Volunteers can choose to work as part of a group with other gardening volunteers or alone, and do as much or as little as suits them. 

If you are interested in helping in the gardens at your local hospital please contact Richard Hobbs on 0300 421 8363 or email richard.hobbs@glos-care.nhs.uk 

The Green Gym is a group of gardeners who meet every Thursday at 10am at Cirencester Hospital. They undertake a range of activities including pathmaking, pruning, tree planting, bench making and maintaining the hospital flowerbeds and courtyard gardens.

Attending the Green Gym is a good way of meeting new people locally and provides a sociable way of improving your health through outdoor activity. No previous gardening experience is necessary as experienced group leaders are available to guide you through a range of projects.

A gardening club takes place every other Thursday morning at the Vale Hospital in Dursley, developing the gardens, weeding and planting. Anybody interested in volunteering or being involved at the Vale should email: valehospitalallotments@downtoearthstroud.co.uk or call 01453 700011.

Welcoming Volunteers

Welcoming volunteers help in our community hospitals and outpatient clinics, meeting and greeting patients and visitors. Volunteers provide valuable support to busy administrative and clinical staff, often working alongside staff on reception desks. Welcoming volunteer roles are available at:

Cirencester Hospital

Stroud Hospital 

Tewkesbury Hospital

Independent Living Centre in Cheltenham

Quedgeley Clinic  

Homeless Healthcare team based at the George Whitefield Centre, Great Western Road, Gloucester

PAT Dog Volunteers

Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs are very popular with patients (and staff) in all our community hospitals. 

Dogs that visit patients in hospital need to be calm and well-behaved, and are assessed by the Pets As Therapy charity before they can start work. For more information on PAT animals and the assessment process, please see http://petsastherapy.org 

Hospital Shop Volunteers

The hospital shops at Stroud Hospital and Cirencester Hospital are entirely staffed by volunteers and provide a valuable service to visitors to the hospital.

Ward Companion Volunteers

Volunteers on community hospital wards help to enhance the services provided by clinical staff, spending time with patients and carrying out activities, playing games, reading or simply chatting. Volunteers can carry out patient surveys and help with practical tasks such as making beds. We welcome help throughout the day, but particularly at mealtimes, which are busy times for the nursing staff.

In addition to the mandatory volunteer training, dementia training is available for all volunteers, providing useful communication tips and techniques, and particularly beneficial to those volunteering on the wards.

Expert Patient Programme Volunteers

The Expert Patient Programme (EPP) is a free course that the NHS runs for patients with long term mental and physical conditions.  EPP volunteer tutors have experience of living with a long term condition and share their experience with others to help make a positive difference to their lives, helping to run courses throughout Gloucestershire.

EPP Volunteers are trained and accredited to a nationally recognised standard and supported by the Expert Patient Programme & Self-Management Coordinator.

Homeless Healthcare Team

The Homeless Healthcare Team is based at the George Whitefield Centre on Great Western Road in Gloucester, opposite Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. 

The team offer support, advice and medical and nursing care to people who are homeless in order to help them protect their health while homeless and make positive choices in their own healthcare, and to access mainstream primary health care.

Volunteers help ensure the smooth running of doctor and nurse-led clinics, meeting and greeting clients as they arrive at the George Whitefield Centre, and helping the team with a wide variety of tasks. There are also opportunities to join in with outreach work and accompanying clients to medical and housing-related appointments at other sites within Gloucester.

Who can volunteer?

People of all abilities and backgrounds can volunteer. You do not need any previous experience or special skills to become a volunteer as guidance, training and supervision will be provided.

Personal attributes and conduct

No experience is required, but the volunteer must have an interest and aptitude for dealing with the public, staff members and working as a member of a team. We also look for:

A cheerful and helpful personality

Ability to communicate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds

Good listening skills

Confident to be able to approach people to offer assistance

Reliable and committed to their team

To be able to undertake tasks independently and use personal initiative

To work in a manner consistent with the Trust’s policies and procedures

To maintain confidentiality and a professional attitude at all times

All tasks to be undertaken must be under instruction and / or supervision of volunteer supervisor or nurse in charge of the ward / department.

Requirements and commitment

Volunteers will be required to complete a half-day mandatory training session soon after joining the organisation.

Apart from holidays and sickness we expect volunteers to attend their volunteering placement on a regular basis, for at least 6 months or more.

Eligibility Criteria for Volunteering

We take volunteers from 16 years old, but those up to 18 years old will be paired up with another volunteer or require closer supervision from a staff member. There is no retirement age for volunteers. Volunteering should be a safe enjoyable and worthwhile experience. We will work with you to try to ensure this is the case for all volunteers regardless of age, disability, gender, religion, background or any other consideration.

An asylum seeker has the right, and is fully entitled, to become a volunteer providing all pre-engagement checks have been undertaken.

A refugee must provide evidence of refugee status but is also entitled to volunteer subject to pre-engagement checks.

Volunteers from European countries are eligible to undertake volunteering duties within the UK, subject to pre-engagement checks.

Volunteers from Non-European countries who have a current visa, to work or study in the UK may volunteer as long as they are still undertaking the activity stated on their visa. Evidence of the current visa will be required at interview.

People on benefits can volunteer and claim benefits if:

the only money they get from volunteering is to cover expenses, like travel costs 

they continue to meet the conditions of the benefit they get 

Download ‘Guide to volunteering while on benefits’ here (PDF, 372KB)

People with criminal records can volunteer but depending on the offence they may not be able to volunteer in certain roles. Most volunteer roles require a criminal records check (DBS check) as part of the recruitment process. 

What support will be given?

Volunteering should be a safe, enjoyable and worthwhile experience. We will work with you to try to ensure that this is the case for all volunteers regardless of age, disability, gender, religion, background or any other consideration.

Each volunteer will be appropriately placed according to the organisation’s needs and the ability, skills and interests of the volunteer. Volunteers will be supported and placed alongside other volunteers where possible, until they are sufficiently confident in their duties. Supervision and support will always be available from Volunteer Supervisors, the ward or departmental staff.

Volunteers attend a mandatory half-day training session, which covers infection control, safeguarding, information governance and confidentiality, health and safety and equality and diversity.

What next?

We encourage anyone interested in volunteering to telephone or email us first. We can then talk through available roles and answer any initial questions you may have.

The recruitment process begins by completing an application form. We will then invite you to come in to meet us and finalise the paperwork. Most roles require a Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) check, which will be completed at this stage. You will also need to complete a health questionnaire and sign a Volunteer Agreement. As part of the recruitment process we will also obtain two references from people who have known you for at least three years (not members of your family). 

If you have any questions about the volunteer recruitment process, please contact Richard Hobbs on 0300 421 8363 or richard.hobbs@glos-care.nhs.uk

Volunteer Application Form

Green Gym at Cirencester Hospital

This group of volunteers meets every Thursday at 10am at Cirencester Hospital and undertakes a range of activities including:

  • Pruning
  • Tree planting
  • Path creating
  • Bench making
  • And lots of other outdoor activities

Attending the green gym means you can meet people locally and benefit the environment through planting trees and improving outdoor spaces to give a real sense of satisfaction.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t undertaken any gardening or outdoor work before as experienced leaders guide you through a range of practical projects, giving you the opportunity to tackle physical jobs in the outdoors - improving your strength and stamina, boosting your practical skills and confidence.

Spending time outdoors has a lot of benefits for mental wellbeing with access to trees and nature reducing stress and anxiety and reducing mild depression.  Alongside the health benefits of nature there is the benefit of making social connections.
 
Regular physical activity contributes to the prevention of more than 20 conditions including coronary heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, mental ill-health and obesity.
Having a view of trees and green spaces has been shown to improve patient recovery rates another reason why Gloucestershire Care Services has invested in our grounds and gardens. 

We are supported by Cotswold Volunteers and The Conservation Volunteers. If you are new to volunteering we can arrange for someone to come along with you to your first sessions.

For more information email CareServicesVolunteers@glos-care.nhs.uk

Alternatively, you can call 0300 421 8363.

More information

Click HERE for more frequently asked questions

Click HERE for the Volunteer Strategy 2017-2019

Contact Us

Address:
Human Resources, Edward Jenner Court, Gloucester Business Centre, Pioneer Avenue, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL3 4AW
Telephone:
0300 421 8363
E-mail:
careservicesvolunteers@glos-care.nhs.uk
Contact details:
Open office hours 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday