Volunteering for Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust

Our volunteers play an instrumental role within our trust, mainly due to their desire of making a difference to patient care. Volunteers help to contribute to the Trust’s vision of being the best provider of local healthcare and a great place to work.

We aim to offer a rewarding, meaningful and enjoyable volunteering experience that benefits the volunteer, our patients, visitors, and staff.

Volunteering with us is a great way to:

  • Learn new skills.
  • Build your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Meet new people.
  • Experience being part of a team.
  • Gain experience of working in a healthcare setting.
  • Help your local community.

Whether you are looking to gain experience in a healthcare environment or simply give a little back to your community, we will work to find a volunteer role that suits your skills and experiences, and what you’d like to get out of it.

Why volunteers are important to us

Volunteering with us

Our volunteers play a huge part in helping us deliver the best healthcare.  Please take a look at what volunteering means to our dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer Stories

Check here for the latest news on our Volunteering service, and other work we have been doing within DCHS.

Volunteer News July 2023

Volunteer Insight Report June 2023

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please fill in our online Volunteer Application Form and we will be in contact with you shortly after receiving your completed form.

How old do you need to be to volunteer?

All volunteers must be aged 16 or over, but some placements you need to be over 18.

What do volunteers do?

Our volunteers enhance patients' experiences and outcomes. We have a variety of volunteering roles from helping in our ward and clinical areas to supporting visitors who come into our hospitals and communities.

Can I volunteer for more than two hours a week or longer than six months?   

We ask for a minimum commitment of two or more hours a week for a minimum of six months. We are delighted many of our volunteers give more than two hours a week and/or volunteer for longer than six months.

How long does the recruitment process take and what does this involve?

The recruitment process for volunteering consists of:

  • Completion of application form
  • Two successful references
  • Completed DBS check
  • Occupational health clearance
  • All mandatory training

The whole recruitment process takes about six to eight weeks.

Will I have to attend an interview?

All potential volunteers are invited to attend an informal interview with two members of the DCHS Trust staff team. All potential volunteers will be given the opportunity to ask questions at interview.

Will I choose where I want to volunteer?

All placements are subject to availability at the time of recruitment but we will try to accommodate requests for placement areas if at all possible.

Can I volunteer on a weekend or in the evening?

Yes, however, you must volunteer for at least four weekday sessions (between 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday) before volunteering on a weekend or in the evening. We are very flexible and always happy to discuss alternatives that fit in with your own commitments.

Can I claim expenses for travel, etc.? 

Volunteers can claim expenses for mileage and travel (bus or rail fares) as part of their volunteer role.

What do I wear when volunteering?   

Volunteers wear a yellow polo top which is provided by the Trust.  You will also need to wear black trousers or a black skirt with  flat black shoes. 

What training is provided? And how long will it last?

You are expected to attend and complete two training elements:

  • One day of training on site
  • Mandatory training (online) – 11 Health Education England e-learning modules

Will my volunteering hours be recorded?

Yes, all volunteers must use the sign in/sign out system and all hours are logged onto a central database.

Will I be left to volunteer on my own?

You will be allocated support for your first couple of volunteering sessions until, and only if, you feel comfortable to carry out your tasks on your own. You will be supervised by ward staff.

Will there be support while I am volunteering?

Yes, all volunteers will be given a named person to contact at the start of their volunteering shift, so they know who to contact if they need help or support whilst volunteering.

I am free over the summer holidays - can I volunteer for this period only?

Due to the length of our recruitment process and training package, we ask you to commit to a minimum of six months for a volunteering role.

My relative is on a ward, can I go and visit her whilst I am volunteering?

No, as a volunteer, you are unable to visit relatives or friends whilst completing you volunteering role. However, the trust does now support open visiting which means that you would be able to visit your relative or friend at any time outside of your volunteering hours.

What happens if I want to take a break or change my volunteering session?  

We ask our volunteers to make a minimum commitment of six months.  This is to ensure consistency for our patients and families.  However, we understand that things can change and that from time to time volunteers are not able to volunteer as planned.  In these circumstances, we are keen that volunteers speak to their Voluntary Services Manager who will be able to arrange an alternative placement at a time or location that suits better or negotiate a break and stay in touch until the volunteer is able to recommence volunteering.

What happens if I want to stop volunteering?   

It can sometimes be hard for volunteers to say that they want to stop volunteering but it is important that if a volunteer wants to stop volunteering that they let your Supervising Manager or People Services know.  This is so that:

  • we can gather feedback on your experience so we can continually improve the volunteer experience  
  • we can be aware of the vacancy and begin to recruit a replacement
  • we can say thank you and good bye.

Volunteering is an activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives.

Volunteer guide

This guide is an inclusive guide for people who volunteer with DCHS.

The volunteer guide sets out the performance standards and behaviours required from volunteers and explains the role of a volunteer with DCHS and helps to ensure that DCHS utilises the skills and experience of its volunteers well. 

  • Volunteers have a distinct, recognised and valued status in their own right within the Trust.
  • Each volunteer will be supported by a named key contact within the relevant service to identify an appropriate role , taking into account the needs of the service, service users and carers and those expressed by the volunteer.
  • Volunteers will not be recruited to replace paid staff. 
  • The contribution of volunteers will be recognised and acknowledged by the Trust at both local and Board level.​​​​

What training is provided? And how long will it last?

All of our volunteers are expected to attend and complete two training elements: