Volunteering

We run a very successful volunteers programme with over 1400 volunteers providing practical help to patients and visitors and complementing the work of paid staff at the Trust.

A group of King's volunteers

Our volunteers are not directly involved in patient care, but help provide extra support to patients, just as friends or family members might do. They come from all walks of life, and represent the diversity of the communities that we serve. All are dedicated to making the hospital a little friendlier and more comfortable for everyone.

Volunteers do not carry out (or shadow) clinical work or short-term work-experience placements. If you are interested in work experience or shadowing at King's, go to work experience.

Who can volunteer?

We would like to hear from you if you are:

  • over 16
  • good at mixing with people
  • enjoy helping others
  • want to develop your own skills as an individual.

We ask all volunteers to commit to doing at least three hours a week for a whole year, so we can create long-lasting and meaningful roles for them.

Why volunteer?

People choose to volunteer for many reasons. Becoming a King's Volunteer allows you to

  • give something back to King’s after you or a family member has been treated here
  • contribute to your local community
  • use the experience to demonstrate your existing skills and further your personal development
  • put to good use your work-related and people skills if you are retired
  • make career choices, particularly if you are thinking of a career in the NHS. A number of our volunteers go on to study medicine or nursing, or to gain other employment in the health and social care sector.

Read about some of our volunteers and what motivates them.

What do King’s Volunteers do?

Examples of current volunteering roles at King’s include:

Community Volunteers:
Hospital to home is a brand new pilot initiative where volunteers work both on our wards and in the local community. They help patients to settle in at home, supporting them to care for themselves after a stay in hospital. Find out more about Hospital to home volunteering and make a difference in your community.
Ward Visitors:
help make patients’ hospital stay more comfortable by chatting, listening, reading, running an errand or escorting them on a short walk, as well as help coordinate activities such as games, singing and general stimulation for elderly patients on the wards
Hospital Guides:
work across the hospital giving patients and visitors directions and escorting them
Outpatients volunteers:
help make patients' visit to outpatient departments as smooth and comfortable as possible by chatting, listening and helping register arrivals
Chaplaincy Volunteers:
offer spiritual, religious, pastoral and practical support to patients of all beliefs. This is more of a listening and responding role rather than about religion or belief.
Friends of King’s Volunteers
serve in the Friends of King's Gift Shop or take the charity's Trolley Shop round the wards each day.

Is there any training?

King’s Volunteers takes seriously its commitment to those who give their time. All our volunteers follow a thorough training programme which enables them to be of more help, quicker, and to demonstrate the work they have done to potential employers and educators. They also receive high-quality, day-to-day support from the people leading their team.

By supporting volunteers to support our patients, we ensure patients have the best possible experience and that volunteers can pursue their own personal goals.

How do I volunteer?

Find out more about what's on offer and how to apply for Volunteering at King's

Send us your application and we will get back to you within five working days of receiving it. If we think there is a good chance of a mutually-beneficial placement for you, we will invite you to one of our weekly Recruitment Events.

These are a chance for you to find out a bit more about King’s and the volunteering scheme. They also give us a chance to find out more about you. We will ask you some questions in a group setting to find out what you can offer us, much like a less formal version of the interview process for paid employment.

The recruitment process takes about eight weeks, from attending our recruitment event to the point at which you are offered a start date.

Please note: our recruitment events are currently heavily subscribed. You may have to wait up to seven weeks for an available date, although we will offer you an earlier date if one becomes available.

Paper applications

If you would like to apply, but aren’t confident in using a computer, you are welcome to attend an offline application session. We will either help you to fill in a paper-based application form, or help you to complete the online form on a laptop. Our first offline application session will be held at the hospital on Tuesday 4 February 2014, 2 – 4pm. Please email kch-tr.volunteers@nhs.net or call 0203 299 5510 for further details and to book a place on the session.

What happens if I am successful?

If you are successful, we will invite you to join King’s Volunteers. We have to complete the same pre-employment checks for our volunteers as we do for paid members of staff, so before you start you must provide satisfactory references, pass Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks and be cleared by Occupational Health.

We will then offer you a placement and book you onto our modular training programme, which you usually complete within your first three months as a volunteer.

How do I contact King’s Volunteers?

If you have any queries about the King's Volunteering programme, the training we offer or how to apply, email kch-tr.volunteers@nhs.net or call us on +44 (0)20 3299 4686.