A group of King's volunteers

Volunteers provide practical help to patients and visitors, complementing the work of paid staff across the Trust. They do not carry out (or shadow) clinical work or do work experience.

King's Volunteers are not directly involved in patient care but help provide extra support. They come from all walks of life and represent the diversity of the communities that we serve. All are dedicated to making the hospitals that make up the Trust a little friendlier and more comfortable for everyone.

Our volunteers are based at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill, Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, Orpington Hospital and Beckenham Beacon.

Hear from some of those who volunteer with us.

What do King’s Volunteers do?

We offer a range of roles including:

Hospital to Home (H2H) Volunteers:
help patients to settle in at home as part of the Hospital to Home scheme. They work on our wards and in the local community, supporting patients to care for themselves after a stay in hospital.
Ward Visitors:
help make patients’ hospital stay more comfortable by chatting, listening, reading, running errands or escorting them on short walks, as well as getting involved with activities for elderly patients such as games and singing.
Hospital Guides:
work across the Trust giving patients and visitors directions and escorting them.
Outpatient Volunteers:
help make patients' visits 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 at King's College Hospital or take the charity's Trolley Shop round the wards each day.

Who can volunteer?

We’re looking for confident and enthusiastic people who are aged at least 16. You need to be able to display some key personal qualities such as empathy and the ability to listen and observe. You also need to be reliable, a self-starter, and show initiative and attention to detail.

We ask you to give us at least three hours of your time a week for at least six months, so please consider whether you can realistically fit this commitment in with your other responsibilities.

We do not offer any short-term volunteering opportunities that can only be done over the summer.

Why volunteer?

There are lots of reasons why people choose to become a King's Volunteer, such as:

  • You enjoy helping others and want to play a role in improving the patient and visitor experience
  • You want to give something back to King’s after you or a family member have been treated here
  • You want contribute to your local community
  • You want to use the role to demonstrate your existing skills and further your personal development
  • You want to put to good use the skills and experience you’ve gained over your lifetime
  • You are thinking about career choices, and are thinking of joining the health and social care sector. But volunteering should not be seen as work experience.

How do I apply?

Stage one: send us your application form

Volunteer at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill
Fill in the King's Volunteers Application Form - KCH and return it by email to kch-tr.volunteers@nhs.net or post to Volunteer Services, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS.
Volunteer at Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington Hospital or Beckenham Beacon
Fill in the King's Volunteers Application Form - PRUH, indicating at which hospital(s) you would like to volunteer, and return it by email to kch-tr.VolunteerPRUH@nhs.net or post to Volunteer Services, Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough Common, Kent BR6 8ND.

Stage two: invitation to a Recruitment Event

We will reply to you within five working days of receiving your application form. If we think there is a good chance of a mutually beneficial placement for you, we will invite you to one of our Recruitment Events. These are a chance for us to find out more about you and decide whether you are suitable for a role. You can find out more about King’s and our volunteering scheme and decide whether you wish to volunteer with us. 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.

We receive many applications so you may have to wait a few weeks to attend a recruitment event.

Stage three: checks and training

If your application is successful you will be need to provide satisfactory references, pass Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks and be cleared by Occupational Health before you can start your placement. You will also need to complete a training programme. These can take up to three months.

Please note that we have the right to refuse a voluntary placement.

Contact us

Questions about volunteering
Read King’s Volunteers - Frequently Asked Questions
Help with completing the application form
King's College Hospital, tel: 020 3299 5510
Princess Royal University and Orpington hospitals and Beckenham Beacon, tel 01689 863711
Any other queries
King's College Hospital: email kch-tr.volunteers@nhs.net, tel 020 3299 5510
Princess Royal University and Orpington hospitals and Beckenham Beacon, email kch-tr.VolunteerPRUH@nhs.net, tel 01689 863711