We have hundreds of volunteers in our trust, including members of the public, service users and carers.
The trust operates eight community hospitals, plus health clinics and health centres across Kent. Volunteers can offer a range of skills and experience to help the trust and complement our staff.
Anyone aged over 16 (18 and over in clinical areas) can volunteer.
There are many benefits to volunteering, including:
- learning new skills and knowledge
- contributing to other people’s wellbeing
- personal achievement, increased confidence and self-esteem
- community involvement
- meeting new people and reducing isolation
- having fun.
We have always looking at ways of supporting our volunteers, recognising their massive contribution to KCHFT and working to recruit more, which you can read in our Volunteer Strategy.
How much time do I need to devote?
From a few hours a week to a few hours per month – it is up to you. Some people volunteer more frequently. All we ask is that volunteers are reliable and willing to give time on a regular basis.
What you can expect
- We will support you by providing a thorough induction and supervision
- You will have access to training to help you complete your role
- You will have access to additional training that may be useful to you
- We will pay travel expenses in line with our reimbursement policy
- You will receive a newsletter and regular communication updates
- You can use the expertise of the volunteer service department, if you need it.
There are hundreds of roles a volunteer can have in the NHS. For example, you could be a ward activity assistant, do some reception work, be a service volunteer or cardiac rehabilitation volunteer. Or maybe you would prefer to be administrative or clerical support, a ward visitor or helper with the chaplaincy, an arts and craft maker or an events helper. Volunteers get involved with baby clinics, tea shops, hospital shops, trolley services, dining companions, gardening and are often meet and greeters or help with PAT dogs.
I have now been a volunteer at Sevenoaks Community Hospital for over five years and I still look forward to Tuesdays as much as ever. Most of the patients are elderly but despite their problems, some of which are really serious, they are cheerful and a wonderful example of how to cope with our own advancing years. On Tuesdays, I arrive just as the Doctor is finishing his rounds. I visit the two wards seeing which of my patients have been discharged and introduce myself to any newcomers, making sure they are comfortable and they are drinking plenty of water, practising their physiotherapy exercises and generally getting to know a bit about them and hear their stories. On Tuesday each ward is deep cleaned and the patients are evacuated to the Day Room for the morning. If they are a lively group, we will do a quiz together, have a sing song or get a discussion going, hopefully including lots of laughter. It all helps to build friendships and pass the time. Most patients are pleasantly surprised by the wonderful meals that are provided by our great, on the premises Chef. At lunchtime, I help where I am needed and then, if I am quick, complete the following day’s menus with each patient before they fall asleep for their afternoon nap. For those who will not have a visitor that day, they might like help with a jigsaw or have a game of Connect or Scrabble. One of my duties is to complete an iPad Meridian questionnaire with the patients who are ready to be discharged. My IT skills are just about adequate for this task. However, the answers to show up areas which can be improved on and are taken seriously by the Matron. In almost every case however, the staff cannot be praised highly enough – they do a wonderful job which is recognised by most and certainly by me.
I went through the Cardiac Rehabilitation programme after having heart surgery. The staff were amazing and caring. After eight weeks with their help and encouragement I felt more confident and well, it was then that I knew I wanted be a volunteer to give back what they had given me. My role is helping to set up the exercise equipment, meet and greet patients and help with heart rate monitors when requested. I help to reassure patients and am quick to get assistance if a patient is in distress and liaise with staff if a patient gives cause for concern. I help with their exercises as every patient has an exercise tailored to their needs. More than anything I am so grateful to the team of physiotherapists, cardiac nurses and exercise experts for including me as part of their team.
It’s very reasonable for our patients, clients, volunteers and service users to want to know if colleagues have had the flu jab.
This includes one of our patient representatives, Junetta Whorwell, pictured.
Junetta is a former state registered nurse (SRN) and health visitor and has had cancer.
She said: “Having the flu jab is the responsible thing to do when you are coming into contact with patients who are unwell and could pass something on.
“My oncologist told me it was important to try to protect myself. I have the flu jab myself and I ask any health worker I come into contact with if they are protected.
“I help at my GP surgery with the patient participation group and welcome patients who come in. It’s up to all of us to get protected.”
Volunteer Service Manager
Eureka Business Park
110 / 120 Upper Pemberton
Want to become a volunteer? Complete our volunteers enquiry form.