Volunteering – FAQs

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

  • To meet new people and make new friends

  • To keep busy and do something rewarding and useful

  • To give something back

  • 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. 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 for an application pack or you can download the pack by clicking here.

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 all 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 but volunteers generally need to have good communication skills and to have a genuine interest in volunteering and helping others.

What sort of volunteer roles are available?
There are a variety of volunteer roles available. Please click here to view them.

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.