Volunteering is a key route through which people ‘get a taste’ of working in hospital before deciding whether the NHS might hold a career for them. The trust’s youth volunteering programme provides young people with the chance to explore many career options, from patient facing roles to administration support.
This year, we secured funding so the trust could extend its youth volunteering project. The programme provides young people with bespoke training so they can develop a whole host of skills including customer service, conflict resolution, inclusion and diversity awareness and safeguarding. They also develop the unwritten skills of the workplace such as reliability, team-working, empathy, honesty and integrity.
The main beneficiaries of the project have been young people aged 16-24 from Watford and around, where there is a higher than average number who are not in education, employment or training. With our own trust, and the NHS more broadly requiring the next generation of skilled staff, the programme acts as a training ground for tomorrow’s employees.
And, of course, the primary beneficiaries are our patients, their families and visitors. As well as traditional volunteering roles such befriending and help at mealtimes, many of the young volunteers have been involved in peer support, visiting young inpatients to provide companionship during the pandemic when visitors were restricted. This was so important to reduce isolation and loneliness. Over 90% of the patients they visited reported that this volunteer support was very beneficial to them.
- With charitable support, we could increase our support for volunteering programmes, helping to enhance patient care and train the workforce of tomorrow. If you are interested in making a donation, please visit our donation page. Thank you.