Volunteering and Friends of Airedale

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If you want to volunteer you can call us on 01535 294624 or 295316 or email anhsft.volunteering@nhs.net for an application pack.
4 smiling volunteer guides
Two voluntters in the oupatient volunteer shop and cafe

COVID-19 update for volunteers (October 2021)

Unfortunately, we are not currently processing any new applications for Volunteering due to the COVID-19 outbreak, unless they have been pre-agreed by the Voluntary Services manager.

About our volunteers

The Trust is committed to engaging volunteers in meaningful roles and supports them in a wide-range of activities that enhance services and adds value to the patient and family experience.

Volunteers are well placed, inducted, trained and supported in their volunteer role to achieve the best possible practice and service. The Trust currently has over 300 volunteers that carryout over 30 different roles across the wards and departments.

Why Volunteer?

You can make a big impact in helping patients, visitors and staff. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network and boost your social skills. You can help improve the experience of people by welcoming and guiding visitors around the hospital, supporting mealtimes on the wards, helping in the two Friends of Airedale cafes/shops and picking up and dropping off pieces of orthotics equipment around the area. We are proud of the contribution our volunteers make.

How to become a volunteer

The Voluntary Services Department welcomes applications from all adults in the community, irrespective of race, gender, disability, age, marital status, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Please ring the voluntary services department on 01535 294624 or 295316 or email us at anhsft.volunteering@nhs.net to see if we have any volunteering opportunities available. If we have a suitable vacancy for you we will email or post out and application pack to you.

Your application will follow a systematic procedure to protect patients set down by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. Your application pack will include an application form together with other related information about volunteering. You will need to complete the application form and return it to the Voluntary Services Department.

You will be asked to attend an informal interview with the Voluntary Services Manager. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check form, Occupational Health form and training documentation will be sent to you ahead of your interview.

Once all the checks are complete and approved, you will be contacted to arrange an induction and start date for your chosen activity.

There are nearly 30 different volunteering roles; here are some examples of them:

Friends of Airedale Main Entrance and Outpatients Café Shops

There are two cafes/shops in the hospital; one is located in main reception area and the second one in the outpatient’s area. Both of them sell a variety of goods including hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and confectionary to patients, staff and visitors.

Friends of Airedale Ward Trolley Service (currently on hold due to pandemic)

The ward trolley service provides a range of sweets, drinks and toiletries on the wards. It operates from Monday to Friday on a rota.

Guides and Information Service

Volunteer Guides help to direct patients and visitors to wards, clinics and other departments around the hospital. This service is operated five days a week.

HODU (Haematology & Oncology Day Unit)

Volunteers provide a range of support activities for patients and ward staff including to providing patients with drinks, washing up, tidying the kitchen, helping to tidy and stock up the rooms/trolleys, taking patients down to ambulance desk.

Friends of Airedale Volunteer Patient Transport Service (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Volunteer drivers provide a valuable transport service, collecting patients and visitors, bringing them into the hospital and providing a return trip home. The service also can provide transport to other hospitals in the area.

Chapel Services (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Volunteers help to take patients to the services which are held in the hospital chapel on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.

We also have volunteers visiting wards on either a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning collecting names of patients who would like to attend the chapel service.

Spiritual care (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Chaplaincy assistants help to provide spiritual and pastoral support to patients on the wards.

Befriending (currently on hold due to pandemic)

The volunteers work on the wards providing informal companionship to patients and help to reduce any feelings of isolation and loneliness. They provide a sympathetic ear and an opportunity for a friendly chat.

Flowers for Chapel & Reception (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Fresh flower arrangements are provided for both areas on a weekly basis and are funded by the Friends of Airedale Hospital charity.

Breast Feeding Peer Support

All breast feeding peer supporter volunteers are at least 18 years old and are mothers with personal experience of successfully breast feeding their own child. New mothers are always grateful for the support of from these volunteers.

Clothes for Dignity

The dignity room is a place where staff can access clothing and footwear for patients who are being discharged from hospital but do not have adequate clothing to ensure their privacy and dignity is maintained. Volunteers help manage the services by accepting deliveries or donations of clothing with help with sorting them out and placing them onto shelves etc.

Mealtime Assistants (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Volunteers help patients who may require some additional support to eat their meals. Volunteers are required on most days for:

Lunchtimes 11:30am-12:30pm

Dinnertimes 4:30pm-5:30pm

This role involves attending a half day training session in the hospital delivered by a member of the Dietetics Team.

Saturday Social (currently on hold due to pandemic)

The volunteers provide a social event for patients on alternate Saturday mornings in the hospital restaurant, collecting patients from the wards, organising entertainment and providing refreshments. Special events are arranged at particular times of the year such as Easter and Christmas.

Pets as Therapy (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Volunteers bring their own dogs to provide comfort, distraction and stimulation to patients on some wards. This is a specialised area of volunteering and volunteers need to be a member of the National Pat Dog Scheme before they can register to volunteer with the hospital.

Ward Activities (currently on hold due to pandemic)

Ward activities aim to alleviate boredom and provide fun for our patients. Activities include arts and crafts, games.

Ward Activities Volunteers support the patients to take part in these activities at their bedside or in the day room. The activities normally take place during the week in the afternoons between 2pm and 4pm.

These roles involve working directly with patients and visitors on interactive activities to help improve socialisation and reduce isolation of individuals staying at the hospital as well as improve recovery.

If you’d like to discuss this programme, please contact, Volunteer Coordinator, Tabusam Shah on 078 8044 1352 or email Tabusam.Shah@nhs.net

Your volunteering questions answered

Why do people choose to volunteer?
People volunteer for a number of different reasons including:

  • To meet new people and make new friends
  • To offer their spare time to do something rewarding and useful
  • To give something back to people or the local community
  • To help with recovery after illness or bereavement
  • To learn new skills or gain experience in a healthcare setting
  • To take a first step towards preparation for employment
  • To help gain entry into university or college

 Who can apply to be a volunteer?
People aged 16 and over can apply to become a volunteer. There is no upper age limit. At Airedale we welcome people with disabilities and those from all cultures and backgrounds. All that we ask is that you are fit and well enough to undertake the volunteer role of your choice and that you have a genuine interest in helping others.

Do volunteers threaten the jobs of paid staff?
No. Volunteers are doing different work from that of paid staff and are not used to cover any staff shortages.

Are volunteer activities insured?
Yes, all registered volunteers are insured for the work they do as volunteers.

Can I claim for travelling expenses?
Yes, travel expenses are refunded as long they are reasonable. If you are travelling by bus, your bus fares will be refunded, and if you drive your cost of fuel is refunded (40p per mile).

Do volunteers pay to park at Airedale General Hospital?
Volunteers are issued with free parking permits and can park in the visitor/ staff car parking areas. We ask volunteers to use the visitor car parks where possible.

Can I volunteer in the evening or at the weekends?
Some volunteer roles are available in the evenings and at the weekends, such as helping in the shop. Other roles are limited to Monday to Friday shifts.

Do I have to come for an interview and what will it involve?
Yes, all applicants are required to attend for an informal interview. The interview gives us the chance to get to know you a little bit better. It will also give you the chance to get to know us and to ask any questions about volunteering. You will be able to discuss the various volunteer roles and we will help you decide what you would like to do.

How do I apply to be a volunteer?
You can either call us on 01535 294624 or 295316 or email us at anhsft.volunteering@nhs.net for an application pack.

How long can I volunteer for?
People volunteer for all sorts of personal reasons but in all instances, we ask that our volunteers commit to a minimum of 6 months of their time. There is no limit on how long you can volunteer for as long as you are able to carry out your role appropriately.

How much time will I need to give and how often will I need to come?
Everyone has different personal commitments and we will try to find a role that fits in with your personal circumstances. Most volunteers give between 2-4 hours of their time, one day each week. Others come in two to three times each week. Some people come in once a fortnight. How much time you give is really up to you.

I have a paid job, can I still volunteer?
Yes. If you have a paid job, we will try our best to find a volunteer role that fits around your paid work.

I’m claiming unemployment benefits, can I still volunteer?
When claiming unemployment benefits, you must be able to prove to the authorities that you are available for work at all times. If you would like to volunteer, you must be willing to forfeit a volunteer shift if you are requested to attend interviews or appointments etc. at short notice. It is always advisable, however, to check with your job-seeker advisors, before undertaking volunteer work.

What is a DBS check and will I need to have one done?
A DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check is a police check that looks into your past to see if you have a criminal record. The DBS check is required for the majority of our volunteer roles within the hospital. Each person is considered on an individual basis so, if you are concerned about having a DBS check carried out, you can discuss this confidentially, with a member of the Voluntary Services team. You will need to provide three forms of Identification (ID). This usually includes a form of photo ID such as a passport or driving licence, and two other forms of address ID such a utility bill or bank statement. Don’t worry if you don’t have these documents, we will advise you of what alternatives can be used. You will not be charged for the DBS check.

What skills/qualifications will I need to be a volunteer?
No formal qualifications are required for the majority of our roles but volunteers generally need to have good communication skills and to have a genuine interest in volunteering and helping others. There are a few specialist roles that may require special skills or qualifications and we will let you know if they apply to the role you are interested in.

What support will I get?
You will be supported by existing volunteers (depending on your role), staff in the area you are based and by the voluntary services team to help you settle into your new role. The Voluntary Services Department has an ‘open door’ policy, which means that you can call in if you have a problem or a query. You will also receive the necessary induction and training for your chosen volunteer role.

When can I start?
The screening process takes between six to eight weeks to complete, from when you submit your completed forms. You are able to start once all the necessary checks have been carried out.

Will I have to wear a uniform?
You do not have to wear a uniform but in some roles you may be required to wear protective aprons or tabards and these will be provided for you. We consider our volunteers to be representatives of the Foundation Trust and therefore ask that our volunteers follow a dress code. This usually means that you are dressed smartly and look professional. For security reasons, all volunteers must wear an identification badge at all times and this will be provided for you.

Will I need to have a medical?
All volunteers are required to complete a paper based health screening form and are health screened through Employee Health and Wellbeing Services (EHWS).  The EHWS team will assess the information you have provided about your health, to determine if you are fit and well enough to carry out your chosen role. Where a volunteer is deemed not fit enough at all to carry out their chosen role, we will do our best to find an alternative role that will be more appropriate.

Will I need to provide references?
All volunteers need to provide the names and addresses of two people who can give a good character reference. It’s best to ask your intended referees first, before you put their names down.

Friends of Airedale

Friends of Airedale has been supporting Airedale Hospital for over 40 years. Run by volunteer Trustees and with nearly 300 volunteer members the charity works to raise funds for the benefit of the hospital and improve the patient experience. You may have met one of these wonderful people in their volunteer roles –as a Guide helping people find their way, selling refreshments and essentials in the shops, running fundraising events, to mention just a few. All working together with a common aim – to support the hospital.

The major fund raisers are the two shops in the hospital that the charity runs, so please support  them if you can. Over the past five years (excluding the pandemic period) over £250,000 per year has been raised and donated to the hospital. Friends of Airedale has Airedale General Hospital at its heart and works relentlessly to benefit the patients of the hospital.

If you would like to be part of this community why not contact us  – on 01535 292610, email admin@friendsofairedale.co.uk  or via Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook @FriendsofAiredale

Twitter @FriendAiredale

Friends of Airedale has been supporting Airedale Hospital for over 40 years. Run by volunteer Trustees and with nearly 300 volunteer members the charity works to raise funds for the benefit of the hospital and improve the patient experience. You may have met one of these wonderful people in their volunteer roles –as a Guide helping people find their way, selling refreshments and essentials in the shops, running fundraising events, to mention just a few. All working together with a common aim – to support the hospital.

The major fund raisers are the two shops in the hospital that the charity runs, so please support  them if you can. Over the past five years (excluding the pandemic period) over £250,000 per year has been raised and donated to the hospital. Friends of Airedale has Airedale General Hospital at its heart and works relentlessly to benefit the patients of the hospital.

If you would like to be part of this community why not contact us  – on 01535 292610, email admin@friendsofairedale.co.uk  or via Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook @FriendsofAiredale

Twitter @FriendAiredale