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 has now closed for 2019. If you have not heard back from us within three weeks of your application, this means it has not been shortlisted.

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 our volunteers get up to in their roles and how volunteering at the Trust has benefited them.

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!

Niamh - Ward 3 Volunteer

How long have you been a volunteer?

I have been a volunteer since February 2019, and I have loved every single minute of it.Volunteer niamh profile picture

What made you want to volunteer with us?

I have always been passionate about helping other, and when I started sixth form this year and I had a couple of free periods I decided that I wanted to spend them helping others.

What do you do in your role?

I’m based on Ward 3 which is a medical ward for children aged 4-16. During my volunteer sessions, I assist the play specialists with the cleaning of the toys so that they are sterile for the children to play with. I also set up a range of different craft activities and make sure that there is plenty of colouring for the children to complete. During my volunteer sessions I spend a large portion of my time interacting with the children on the ward, and spend time occupying the children with crafts and games. I spend time with the children completing crafts and creating art work. As well as setting out the crafts I make sure that that the craft cupboard is well stocked so that there are plenty of activities for the children to do during their time on the ward.

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

Seeing the children happy, despite the challenges that they face being in hospital. It is also satisfying and fills you with a sense of achievement when you see children and their families over a period of weeks and they thank you for all that you have done for them when they leave the hospital.

What have you gained from volunteering?

I have gained more confidence from my time volunteering at the hospital, because I spend my time when volunteering interacting with different patients and staff members. I have also gained a greater understanding of the NHS, and how important is it for people to volunteer because they make such a big difference.

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

Do it! It’s a fantastic opportunity and you will feel amazing because you will feel such a great sense of achievement because you are making a massive impact on someone’s life.

Helen W - Neo-Natal Ward Volunteer

How long have you been a volunteer?

More than three years now.

What made you want to volunteer with us?

I’d recently retired from full time work, I wanted to keep active and useful and have always been a committed supporter of our NHS and what it stands for.

I looked into a number of different volunteering opportunities and the Children’s Hospital scheme struck me as well organised and valuable whilst allowing for some degree of flexibility.

What do you do in your role?

For the first 18 months I worked at the Main Entrance meeting and greeting visitors, patients and their families. This was a great place to “get the feel” of Sheffield Children’s Hospital and to “jump in” practically helping people as they initially arrive for appointments and treatments.

Some vacancies came up volunteering on the Neo-natal Surgical Unit (NSU) and I felt ready for a bit more of a “hands-on” role – as a newish grandparent I’m only too well aware of how fortunate and blessed we’ve been to have healthy children, so the idea of assisting on the NSU seemed to strike a chord with me.

My role now includes assisting with washing/drying/folding of bedding, washing pots, cleaning toys and books (used by sibling visitors) and other equipment. I also chat with parents who often have long fretful days and nights by their poorly baby’s cot-sides. When parents are unable to be there (for many reasons) I am often asked to just sit and cuddle/interact with the babies – as nursing staff rarely get the luxury of time to do that!

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

By the end of my relatively short shift,  I like to think I’ve been as helpful as possible and as many housekeeping jobs are done, I’ve had a little chat with any mums who are on their own and often feel as though they are living in a sort of “bubble”. And of course I really enjoy giving a little bit more human contact to the babies who may also be alone. It’s not frightening or depressing… it’s uplifting.

What have you gained from volunteering?

It’s part of the structure of my week, it’s often interesting and hopefully helps me keep interesting to other people too! It helps me feel useful and in touch and most of all it helps me to look on the positive side of life and give thanks.

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

If you have a little time you can spare each week, get in touch with our co-coordinators and make a commitment… it’s a wonderful thing to do!

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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