Volunteers at South Tees Hospitals

Hospital volunteers are welcomed in many departments and wards. They perform a wide variety of tasks to enhance the service provided to our patients.

The recruitment process is managed in stages and includes completing a volunteer application form DBS check, interview, and occupational health checks.

The final stage before you can become a hospital volunteer is to attend a Trust induction day (CMAT*) at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Volunteers will be unable to start a placement until all of the above processes have been completed, the entire application process will take approximately eight to ten weeks.

*CMAT must be undertaken within eight weeks of starting your role

Examples of roles we have offered in 2014:

Patient-centered roles:

  • Therapeutic care volunteers (TCV) – This role is to help make patients’ hospital stay more comfortable by chatting, listening, reading, making a cup of tea or mealtime assistance, running an errand or escorting them on a short walk, as well as help coordinate activities such as games, singing and general stimulation for patients on the wards.  All of our patient-centred roles come under the TCV umbrella programme and cover all areas from maternity to elderly care.
    • This is a volunteering opportunity to benefit patients.  The aim of the  programme to  enhance patients’ hospital experience
    • “The daughter of an elderly gentleman commented how much more relaxed her dad was after one of the volunteers sat and played dominos with her father and showed so much interest in her father’s interests, past and present.”
    • For further information please therapeutic care volunteers team on 01642 835861 or email Therapeutic.CareTeam@stees.nhs.uk
  • Forget-me-not volunteers –  to promote the well-being for patients, being involved in a variety of aspects of patient experience and facilitating the forget-me-not tool.
  • Patient transport service – this role is to assist and support patients who are transported to and from the hospital using the Patient Transport Service ambulance (NEAS)
  • Mealtime volunteers for the Friarage Hospital. We require volunteers for the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton to assist with mealtimes
  • Holistic care centre – Qualified complimentary therapists
  • A & E volunteers
  • Chaplaincy volunteers – if you feel you have the right attributes for this role, and would like to chat before applying to be a volunteer, please phone the chaplaincy office on 01642 850850 extension 54802.  Or  send an email to marie.edwards@stees.nhs.uk

If you require work experience or a placement please contact  the widening participation and learning team.

Non patient-centered roles:

  • Way finders (Monday – Friday) – volunteers are required to help visitors and patients locate departments in and around the hospital
  • Cardiology reception desk volunteers
  • We occasionally require admin support volunteers for a variety of department across the trust

Most of the roles require you to be aged over 16, however areas such as A & E would require you to be aged 18 and over

Star Awards winner 2015

Volunteer Claire Hood won the Volunteer of the Year Award for overcoming obstacles and bringing warmth and happiness to both staff and patients everywhere she went. Watch her in action:

Frequently asked questions

Is there an age range for volunteers?
You must be 16* years of age to volunteer at South Tees. There is no upper age limit providing you are in good health.
*Most of the roles require you to be aged over 16, however areas such as pharmacy and A & E would require you to be aged 18 and over

How much time do I need to give to be a volunteer?
You will need to volunteer for a minimum of two hours per week for a minimum of six months.
Many of our volunteers give more than two hours of their time each week and attend for more than one day.
The amount of time you can give will be discussed at your interview. The day on which you volunteer will be your choice, however some of our departments may not open at weekends, or evenings.

Will I be interviewed?
Following the submission of your application and being shortlisted, you will need to attend an interview.
This interview will involve discussions on why you want to volunteer, your background and the kind of role that interests you. The interview process also helps us to find you a suitable volunteer placement within the trust.
Unfortunately not everyone is suited to volunteering at the trust so you may not be successful. Many of our roles attract a high volume of applicants so our volunteer recruitment process is competitive.

Will I have to attend any courses?
Yes, before you become a volunteer at the trust you will need to attend the volunteer induction programme (CMAT).

During induction you will be given instructions and guidance on:

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Health and safety
  • Fire safety
  • Data protection
  • Food hygiene
  • Equality and diversity
  • Security
  • Volunteer code of conduct
  • Dress code
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults

Training is compulsory as we have a duty of care to our patients and to you. Therefore, it is important for us to know that you have the necessary information to carry out volunteer activities in a safe manner and patients are not put at risk. While you are a volunteer at the trust you will need to attend yearly update training on selected topics.

Will I be given a uniform?
Yes, it is important for all our volunteers to look smart and professional.
You will be issued with a uniform which is a polo shirt, plus a tabard if your role requires this. All volunteers will be issued with an ID badge that must be worn at all times whilst volunteering. All volunteers must follow the dress code.
ID Badge and t-shirt (and tabard if issued) must be returned to the volunteer office when you stop your volunteering. We do not permit open toed footwear; jewellery, except a plain wedding band, false nails, nail varnish. We would ask you to wear dark coloured (preferably black) trousers or skirt.

If I am out of work and receiving benefits can I still volunteer?
Volunteering at the trust will not affect any benefits that you are receiving, providing you still meet the conditions of the benefits you currently receive. Jobcentre Plus offer a booklet containing more information on volunteering while receiving benefits.

Can I choose where I want to volunteer?
The area/department where you volunteer will be a joint decision.
The choice will be based on current volunteer vacancies, the area of the hospital and the type of activity you would like to be considered for.

What if I don’t like my placement?
If you are successful in your application to become a trust volunteer we will make every effort to place you in a department that is appropriate. We ask that you make an initial commitment of 1 month to settle in.
If you are not enjoying your placement and finding it difficult to settle, please speak to your placement supervisor to discuss your progress and any issues. If you are still not enjoying this placement, contact the volunteering office who will endeavour to find you an alternative placement.

Will I need to provide references or other information?
NHS volunteers are recruited to the same NHS employment standards as paid NHS staff.
This means you will have to provide the details below before volunteering at the trust:

  • Proof of your right to remain and work in the UK if you are not a UK national
  • Two references from people who have known you for a minimum of three years (not friends or family)
  • Information for us to apply for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance (previously CRB)
  • Information in order for us to obtain occupational health clearance
  • Photo ID eg passport or driving licence
  • Proof of current address in two different formats

Will I need to supply a CV?
No, it is not necessary for you to provide a CV to volunteer at the trust.

What do I do about car parking?
At The James Cook University Hospital, you will need to park your car in the visitors car park, and take a ticket from the barrier machine. When you have finished your volunteering shift, take your ticket to one of our reception desks, and on production of your ID badge your ticket fee will be waived. Car parking at our other hospitals will normally require a parking permit (to enable free parking), and these will be issued to you on the day you start your placement.

Which hospital will I volunteer at?
At South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust we have the following hospitals for you to choose from. Your choice will largely be based on where you live, and the experience you would like.

  • The James Cook University Hospital
  • Friarage Hospital, Northallerton
  • Friary Hospital, Richmond
  • Lambert Memorial Hospital, Thirsk
  • Redcar Primary Care Hospital
  • Guisborough primary Care Hospital
  • East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital (Brotton)

Other volunteering roles

In addition to the above roles, we recruit separately for the following (please contact the specific area you are interested in):

Coffee lounge volunteers

The James Cook University Hospital Voluntary Services Coffee Lounge welcomes over 1,000 customers a day and is run by volunteers with all profits donated back to the hospital.  For more information call 01642 854886.


Macmillan cancer information and support centres at both  The James Cook University Hospital and the Friarage Hospital are looking for volunteers to help staff with the day to day running of the centres. This role would suit people with three hours or more to spare each week and a full training programme will be provided. Anyone interested can contact 01642 835674 or 01609 764033 for further information.

“The role of volunteers in the NHS is priceless. They enhance services provided by staff and offer a valuable contribution to the thousands of patients and members of the public who use hospital services every year.”

Click here to view videos of our volunteers