Volunteering

volunteers

Volunteers play an important role within the Trust, supporting our staff as well as patients, parents and visitors to the hospital. You can recognise them by their red t-shirts.

Volunteer recruitment

We recruit volunteers periodically throughout the year. When we have vacancies available these will be published here and advertised through Facebook and Twitter.

Recruitment is now closed.

Before applying take a look at the Volunteer Handbook as it may help you to decide if this is the right place for you to volunteer.

Many of our volunteer roles are for specific time slots, so please check the time and day listed next to the role and only apply if you are available at those times.

Please note that you must be aged 16 or over to volunteer with us.

The application process

Have a look through the volunteer vacancies and if you find one you like that matches your availability, just click on the apply button and complete and submit the application form.

When we receive your application form it will be checked for completeness and read for shortlisting. If shortlisted you will be invited to interview.

Please see the Volunteer Handbook for more detailed information before you apply.

Volunteer case studies

You can find out what four of our volunteers get up to in their roles and how volunteering at the Trust has benefited them.

Eleanor - Speech and Language Therapy Volunteer

EleanorHow long have you been a volunteer?

Almost a year.

What made you want to volunteer with us?

When I applied to volunteer, I was about to embark on my third year of studying undergraduate psychology. I thought volunteering at Sheffield Children’s Hospital would be an invaluable opportunity for me to acquire some people-based experience which is favoured by employers of psychology graduates.

I am also extremely interested in working with children so volunteering at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital really appealed to me.

Upon visiting the volunteer open evening, I learned that volunteers were required to commit a couple of hours per week. This encouraged me to apply as the level of commitment was perfect for a university student.

What do you do in your role?

My role mainly involves supporting speech and language therapy sessions for young children aged between 2-4. I am involved in setting up the sessions, greeting the families, playing with the children, engaging in the session’s activities, monitoring developments in the speech and language of the children and feeding those developments back to the team post-session.

When there are no sessions taking place, I assist the team with admin work which involves photocopying, printing and putting homework packs together.

In recent months, I have been supporting play sessions for children with socio-communication difficulties alongside my usual duties.

What is most satisfying part of your role and what do you enjoy about it?

This particular volunteer role is very hands-on in that volunteers are actively involved in speech and language therapy sessions, hence the most satisfying part of my role is the interaction I am able to have with the children attending the sessions.

It is also very rewarding role as you get to see the children develop in regards to their speech and language over the course of the therapy programme.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I have gained a lot from volunteering in the Speech and Language Therapy department over the past year.

Volunteering has enabled me to develop my skill set which will make me more employable in the future. In particular, I have developed my interpersonal skills, play skills, organisation skills, teamwork skills, and communication skills.

I have also gained an insight into the role of Speech and Language therapists and what it would be like to work in the department.

Finally, I have gained experience of volunteering for the NHS and the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. I eventually aspire to work for Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the Psychology Department so previous experience of having volunteered for the organisation will hopefully help me to secure a job.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital?

I would say go for it! The hospital really is a wonderful place to volunteer and there are volunteer positions to suit everyone; whether you prefer to volunteer behind the scenes or in a patient-facing role.

I would advise potential volunteers to think carefully about where they want to volunteer considering the following factors: which volunteer position could you contribute the most to, which volunteering position best fits with your existing timetable, which volunteering position best suits your skill set, which volunteering position most interests you etc.

I would also tell potential volunteers that the hospital requires committed volunteers who can volunteer on a regular basis (typically a few hours a week). Therefore, I would advise potential volunteers to ensure they can commit this time before submitting an application.

Liz - Emergency Department 'Meet & Greet' Volunteer

LizHow long have you been a volunteer?

Since April 2015.

What made you want to volunteer with us?

I was recently retired with spare time on my hands. I had previously encountered a volunteer in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and thought I may like to do that too but then forgot about it, until I noticed a small article in the Sheffield Telegraph, advertising volunteer vacancies at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

I live locally and have long family associations with the hospital through my siblings and my children and felt I would like to ‘give something back’!

I am definitely a people person and felt the ‘meet & greet’ role would be where I could be useful.

What do you do in your role?

I meet and greet patients, their families, visitors, occasionally the police and ambulance service (non-emergency), staff and anyone using the Emergency Department entrance. I deal with all sorts of queries as many people use that entrance but really need to be elsewhere in the hospital. I direct them or in most cases, accompany them to where they really need to be.

Sometimes they have unusual concerns… ‘Do you know the time of the next train to Grimsby? Where can I buy some baby clothes? I need to go on a run while my child is asleep, I did 20 laps of the park yesterday, where else can I go?’ Mostly though they need directing to another department or ward or the restaurant!

I am on my feet for the whole shift but I enjoy walking people around the hospital and it’s cheaper than joining a gym!

What is most satisfying part of your role and what do you enjoy about it?

Being able to solve a problem which is worrying, possibly distressing, to the person who is in front of me. It only takes a few minutes, seconds even, but makes their visit to the hospital so much easier and less stressful.

It makes me feel very proud of the calibre of our hospital and staff when I hear how far some people have come for an appointment and Sheffield Children’s Hospital is the only place in the country where their child can be treated.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I have routine to my week and look forward to my shift. I enjoy my relationship with the Emergency Department staff, particularly the receptionists, who tell me they greatly value my help in intercepting queries which would otherwise come to them.

I am proud to tell people I am a volunteer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital?

Do it!

John - Main Reception 'Meet & Greet' Volunteer

JohnHow long have you been a volunteer?

Five years.

What made you want to volunteer with us?

Following personal struggles after the sudden death of my wife in 2010, a personal friend who volunteered at the hospital persuaded me to volunteer as something useful to occupy my time. I took up volunteering at the hospital in January 2013.

It, along with other pursuits, helped me to build a range of positive activities that create ‘recovery capital’ – good things to do that make you feel positive and help give something back to the community.

What do you do in your role?

I meet and greet families and help them find their appointments. I have also sat on interview panels for staff and new volunteers and have helped with the induction of new volunteers, admin for staff flu jabs and fundraising for The Children’s Hospital Charity and Burns Unit.

What is most satisfying part of your role and what do you enjoy about it?

I enjoy helping people, especially parents who may be anxious and worried about their child’s appointment and helping to put them at ease.

What have you gained from volunteering?

It makes me happy to know that I have helped people get through a difficult experience and that they feel more comfortable and reassured afterwards.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital?

Do it! You’ll feel good about yourself by helping others!

Shahid - Outpatients Department 'Meet & Greet' Volunteer

ShahidHow long have you been a volunteer?

I have been a volunteer in the Outpatients Department since December 2016 and have loved every single minute.

What made you want to volunteer with us?

I have had past experience with the hospital and wanted to give something back to such an amazing group of people. I also wanted to experience hospital life from a staff point of view and see what challenges the staff had to overcome to deliver a great patient experience. What better to do in my spare time than help people in need?

What do you do in your role?

In my role my main duties are to check people in for their appointment as well as show people to where they need to go, wherever this may be within the hospital. Also a few other tasks that I may come across are talking to parents and children who have concerns or worries about their situation as well as doing small tasks such as tidying up. There is never a dull moment.

What is most satisfying part of your role and what do you enjoy about it?

The most enjoyable part is when you have helped someone get to where they need to be going or have improved their stay at the hospital. When they say thanks, you know you have done a good job.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I have gained various attributes from the role. My communication and confidence has definitely improved massively when talking to the public. I have also gained various skills in how to deal with children and how to keep them calm and occupied even in the most unusual cases.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital?

Do it. There are so many roles that you can come across at the hospital that there is definitely something for everyone. You can also learn lots of new skills and meet some great people, that’s what volunteering at Sheffield Children’s Hospital is all about.

Eleanor M - Oncology & Haematology Ward Volunteer

Eleanor MHow long have you been a volunteer?

I have been a volunteer since September 2016.

What made you want to volunteer with us?

I always knew that I wanted to work with children in a health care environment so thought that would be an excellent opportunity to get experience in a hospital setting. I had just started my A levels when I applied and had some free afternoons so it perfectly gave me some time away from revision and being able to do something that I enjoyed.

What do you do in your role?

My role as a volunteer mainly involves playing with the children on the ward. This may be to enable parents to get some lunch, entertaining a patient’s siblings or distracting the children undergoing treatment. Lots of patients can end up spending long periods of time on ward M3 and some are in isolated rooms and need to be kept busy and happy.

I spend most of my time doing arts and crafts with the children such as painting and creating work to decorate the ward with throughout the year. Anything that keeps the children happy and entertained I usually end up a part of. This may be racing up and down on the ward on a bike, sitting and watching a film with a patient or even baking cupcakes! I am also expected to tidy and organise the play room.

I have also volunteered on Christmas Eve, assisting the play specialists to get the ward ready for Christmas Day. My time was spent wrapping a huge amount of presents for the children and sorting through large amounts of donated gifts for patients and their families.

What is most satisfying part of your role and what do you enjoy about it?

There is never a shift where I don’t leave feeling like I’ve made a difference to either a patient or a family’s day. The families are extremely grateful for any small gesture.

Being a small part of a family’s journey and seeing the children happy is rewarding. Although it can be difficult seeing children so poorly undergoing chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant, making their stay in hospital more enjoyable is a great privilege.

Working alongside the nurses and other staff on the ward is also great fun and seeing the same children months down the line on the road to recovery is so lovely.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I have gained a significant amount of confidence from my time volunteering at the hospital. I also feel a great sense of achievement being able to contribute to such a fantastic hospital and to the NHS as I have realised what a difference volunteers make.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital?

It’s amazing! There is such a variety of roles and so much to do in the hospital meaning that there is something that everyone can enjoy. I was only 16 when I started volunteering and felt extremely young to have such responsibility but there is always someone else around if you are ever unsure of what to do so don’t be scared. It’s a great opportunity and I would highly recommend it.

Supporting our volunteers

We value all our volunteers and look after you as well as we can. We offer you travel expenses, a uniform, and regular reviews and catch-ups with our Volunteer Co-ordinator. You will also receive a monthly email with news and updates.

After you have been accepted as a volunteer you will have training and an induction which will prepare you for your role. You can access other training opportunities throughout the year and we organise regular social events.

We are proud to have achieved the national Investing in Volunteers quality award for the past six years and have also achieved the Sheffield Volunteer Standard.

Charity volunteering

There are also opportunities to volunteer with other charities involved with the hospital:

  • The Children’s Hospital Charity – volunteering for The Children’s Hospital Charity is a fantastic way to give something back, gain valuable experience or meet new friends. They are always in search of people to fill a variety of volunteer positions including charity ambassadors, office and events assistants, collection tin co-ordinators and public collectors. To find out more contact the Charity by email or telephone 0114 271 7203.
  • Friends of the Children’s Hospital – the Friends of the Children’s Hospital run a shop in the hospital and fundraise throughout the year to support the Trust and its patients. The Friends are always on the look out for volunteers.

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