Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Trust. From providing a listening ear to people on our wards, supporting the running of one-to-one and group activities, sharing the joy of therapy pets, to connecting with those we serve in our communities, tackling loneliness, social isolation, and promoting community participation and a zest for life, volunteers add heaps of quality to the care we bestow our service users and their families, friends, and carers.

The volunteering workforce we want to build

We are on the lookout for volunteers that can help us reflect and celebrate the diversity of skills, ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds, and interests of the people we serve.

We especially welcome applications from anyone over the age of 18 with lived experience of mental health difficulties or those caring for someone with a mental illness. If you are currently supported by our community services, you are welcome to apply for any volunteering vacancy. If you are still an inpatient, please do apply once you have been discharged from hospital.

We seek volunteers with skills that add value to what clinical staff offer, so if you are an accomplished or keen gardener, artist, designer, blogger or writer, musician, mechanic, hairdresser, fashionista, etc. please consider applying as an Activity Volunteer with us. You may have precisely the skills we seek.

We want to support those of you who have learnt experience of mental health, such as psychology, psychotherapy, counselling graduates, to get real life experience of working in this field. However, please be aware that we are only able to offer volunteering placements with supervision by our colleagues within the role descriptions advertised below. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to support either study or work placements.

Who can apply to volunteer with us

To work with us, you must be 18+ years old. You also need to be able to commit to volunteering for a minimum of 60 hours, spread over six months (this comes to approximately ten hours per month). From experience, we know that volunteering placements for this long will enable us to support you learn new skills, increase confidence, and accrue valuable first-hand experience, as well as maximising the benefits to people accessing our services.

As most of our volunteering roles involve working with vulnerable people, you will need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, complete an Occupational Health assessment, and provide references for the last three years as part of the recruitment process.

To ensure you are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to keep you, your colleagues, and the people you will be supporting safe, you will need to complete a range of relevant and certified training, both e-learning and face-to-face. 

What you can get out of volunteering;

  • Invaluable first hand experience of working in mental health settings.
  • Knowledge, skills, and insights of working with experts, both staff and service users.
  • A reference for future employment if you volunteer with us for six months or more.
  • Access to many comprehensive and validated training packages (e-learning and face to face) including support to achieve the National Volunteer Certificate.
  • The reimbursement of travel expenses in accordance with our Volunteer Placement Policy.

Volunteering is the first step iif you wish to join our Bank system for paid employment. A role in busting stigma and challenging superseded views of mental ill health. By volunteering with us, you play an active part in supporting our treasured National Health Service.

How to apply

Click on the opportunities below to apply for available posts.

 

Why volunteer?

People volunteer for lots of different reasons:

  • To develop valuable experience, which can support any professional development goals you may have.
  • To gain a wider understanding of the services and care that the Trust provides in addition to issues affecting those living with mental health issues.
  • To meet new people and develop new friendships.
  • To make a real difference to the lives of others.
  • For those with experience of using our services, it can also be an opportunity to say thank you and help us improve the work we do.

How much time should I give?

  • Once you start on a volunteering placement, we ask that you commit to a minimum of two consecutive hours weekly, for ten consecutive weeks. This will give you enough time and space to digest the many different things you will need to learn at the start, including simple things like people's names and safety procedures etc.
  • We strongly recommend that you keep your volunteering hours consistent for the first ten weeks as this will help you to settle into the role and make volunteering part of your routine. After the initial ten weeks, you may choose to reduce or increase your hours based on your personal circumstances.
  • We can provide references once volunteers complete six months or more with us.

What type of volunteering could I do?

We have a variety of roles including:

  • Chaplaincy volunteering - we aim to have representatives of all different religions and forms of spirituality, and volunteers can play a role in this.
  • Pets as Therapy (PAT) - we welcome registered PAT dogs/cats to visit and interact with our service users.
  • Befriending - sitting with our service users and talking to them about everyday things can make a difference.
  • Assisting with activities - working alongside our occupational therapists and activity coordinators to make different activities available to our service users. Engaging in activities is a proven way to help someone recover and maintain physical, cognitive and social skills. It's also a great way to get to know service users and for them to get to know you.
  • Supporting service users in the community - you can help reduce someone’s loneliness, or sense of hopelessness, by joining them for a coffee, walk, shopping or other activities in public areas. You will be supported by professionals who know the person well and will help you assist them as safely and effectively as possible.
  • Admin/clerical posts - supporting teams with updating activity timetables, photocopying, printing, minute taking etc.

Will volunteering cost me anything?

No. We will reimburse travel expenses against actual receipts and you can claim up to the pay as you go cap (Transport for London's cap price) on dailyanytime fares for zones 1-6.

We will also provide a subsidised lunch if you volunteer for more than six hours in a row and over the lunch period.

Will I be supported during my volunteering placement?

  • For the first 4-6 weeks you will work alongside staff in your allocated team/service, shadowing and directly learning from them. This will help you to become familiar with any processes and procedures you need to be aware of while developing your skills and confidence. The following weeks will be for you to take more ownership of the tasks you have previously learnt and prepare to go “solo”.
  • You will be allocated a placement supervisor, who will answer questions and queries and support your learning throughout your volunteering experience.
  • You will have access to our monthly volunteer support and development meetings, a space where you and your fellow volunteers can share experiences, tips and advice.
  • Should you wish to receive additional support outside of your volunteering hours, this can be provided by the Involvement Volunteer Team.

How do I become a volunteer?

Simply send an email to volunteering@swlstg.nhs.uk. Please ensure you:

  • Use 'volunteering' as the subject title.
  • Include your name, surname, telephone number and email address (if different from the one you are using) in the main text.
  • Briefly tell us why you would like to volunteer with us.

We will then get in touch with you to arrange a meeting and take things from there. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Please note: if you are looking for work or study placements, including ERASMUS, study and summer internships, please contact our workforce development team via workforcedevelopment@swlstg.nhs.uk.

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