Volunteer at patient's bedside

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, Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, and Beckenham Beacon.

Meet our volunteers

The best way to find out about volunteering at King's is from our volunteers:

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 completing the Duke of Edinburgh award
  • 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.

Volunteering roles

The following roles are currently available:

Mealtime volunteers:
make sure patients have a positive and enjoyable mealtime experience. Volunteers support patients by helping with menu choices, getting patients ready for mealtimes and making sure the surrounding area is tidy. Volunteers will ensure fluids are available and encourage patients to increase food intake.

Meet and greet guides:
welcome patients into the hospital and provide assistance to those who need help. Volunteers also provide information about the services in the hospital including shops, parking and cafes. Guides also support our mobile information kiosk.

Falls support volunteers:
sit with a vulnerable patient who is at risk of falling. Volunteers are needed to befriend patients who would benefit from befriending and social interaction. In this role it is likely that volunteers will spend their entire time with just one patient.

Emergency Department (ED):
play a crucial role in supporting vulnerable patients in a fast-paced environment. Volunteers provide emotional reassurance and practical support to ensure the best possible patient experience during a stressful time.

Admin volunteers:
assist staff with general administrative duties ranging from data entry, filing, answering phones and taking messages to befriending patients who need support during their visit at the hospital.

Friends of King’s Volunteers:
serve patients, visitors and staff in the Friends of King's Gift Shop or take the charity's trolley shop round the wards each day at the Denmark Hill site.

Duke of Edinburgh award

Duke of Edinburgh - Approved Activity Provider logo

We are a Duke of Edinburgh award (DofE) Approved Activity Provider. This means young people completing the DofE award can count time spent volunteering at the Trust towards the volunteering part of their DofE award.

If you are completing the DofE award and are 16 or older, you can apply for a volunteer role at the Trust - see How to apply. Your application and placement will be treated in the same way as all volunteers. You will need to commit at least three hours a week for at least six months.

Pilot youth social action programme

With the support of King's College Hospital Charity, the Pears #iwill Fund, in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we are one of 28 hospital Trusts piloting a unique youth social action programme.

The programme takes nine months. In this time young volunteers complete three placements at either King’s College Hospital or at the Princess Royal University Hospital.

This pilot is now closed to applicants. However if you are 16 or over you can apply for a regular volunteer role at the Trust.

How to apply

Applications are temporarily closed until 31 March 2020. Please check this webpage from 31 March for details of how to apply.

Contact us

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