King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has become just the second hospital Trust in the country to be named a Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award approved activity provider.
The accreditation means that existing young volunteers at King's College Hospital and the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) can use their hours toward the volunteering element of the DofE Award. Additionally, those looking to volunteer as part of their DofE Award can choose to do this at King's or the PRUH, something they may not have considered previously.
Young people who volunteer at the Trust - particularly at the PRUH where there are fewer younger volunteers - can do so in a range of different settings and roles. These include helping patients at mealtimes on wards, guiding patients and visitors around the hospital, and assisting with administration in office areas.
Nikki Ansari, 17, from Ruislip, has been volunteering for two months at King’s College Hospital. Nikki, who is keen on pursuing a career as a pharmacist said, “I began volunteering as I wanted to gain some valuable experience in a hospital environment. I really enjoy helping the patients and making them feel comfortable – it’s really rewarding. You get to meet interesting people that you might not interact with ordinarily. I help at mealtimes and bring patients newspapers and magazines to read. It’s nice to chat to them and try and make their hospital stay a positive experience. If there are any younger people thinking about volunteering at the PRUH I’d advise them to try it.”
Young people completing the DofE programme who wish to volunteer at King's or the PRUH have to be at least 16 years old and commit to completing a minimum of three hours of volunteering each week for at least six months.
Petula Storey, Head of Volunteering at King’s said, “Being an accredited Duke of Edinburgh Award provider is a great step forward for our volunteering programme. We already have a number of wonderful young volunteers who make a big difference in our hospitals, and we hope this new accreditation will encourage even more young people to get involved.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities at the PRUH can email kch-tr.VolunteerPRUH@nhs.net or phone on 020 3299 4223 or apply online at https://www.kch.nhs.uk/about/get-involved/volunteering.