Frequently asked questions

This page aims to answer questions you might have about volunteering.

Questions

Answers

How long is the recruitment process?

The process can take between six and 12 weeks before you start volunteering. This will depend on how quickly you fill in and return the necessary forms. It also depends on how long important stages of the recruitment process take, such as receiving your references and police clearance.

Will I be able to volunteer immediately?

No, we need to ensure patient safety so there are a number of checks that need to be completed before you can start.

Will I be interviewed?

Yes, the sort of interview and who will be interviewing depends on the role you are considering. We conduct group interviews for certain roles, others will be just one person.

What skills and experience do I need?

That depends on the role you want to do, however, good communication skills, reliability and a positive attitude are a must.

Is there any training?

Yes, all volunteers must attend a volunteer induction day. You will have different trainers from across the Trust delivering different sessions. You will also have a local induction on your first day.

I’m free over the summer holidays, and school/college holidays can I volunteer just over this period?

We don’t take on volunteers for such a short time. We ask for people who can volunteer for at least three to four hours, once a week for a minimum of six months. This is because recruiting volunteers takes time and has a financial impact.

I am a student, can I apply?

We do accept students over the age of 18. However, we are aware that student timetables can be stressful and we want you to have a good volunteering experience with us. Please think carefully and decide if you would be able to fit in a regular volunteer commitment alongside your studying.

Can I volunteer if I am under 18?

We are currently unable to take anyone under 17 as a volunteer. This is due to responsibility and legal issues.

Do I need to wear a uniform?

The majority of our volunteering roles require you to wear a sleeveless volunteer jacket that you wear over your own smart casual clothes. We will provide you with this and it is your responsibility to look after it and keep it clean. You are asked to return the jacket when you leave your volunteer role. 

I need a reference, when can I get one?

We can provide a reference for you when you have volunteered for six months. If you require a reference before six months we will consider this on an individual basis.

I need a placement for a course I am doing, can you provide this?

Volunteering is not a work placement or work experience and you are not assessed; this is volunteering your time to benefit patients. For work placements or work experience please contact Joel Ryden, work placement co-ordinator at joel.ryden@gstt.nhs.uk or telephone 020 7188 8124.

I want to shadow a doctor. Is that possible?

Voluntary services does not organise this. The Trust offers clinical insight experiences (clinical work experience) to students planning to pursue a career in healthcare. For further information please look at our work experience pages.

Meet some of our volunteers

Find out what it is like to be a volunteer at our hospitals. Read some of our volunteers  stories.