Volunteer with us

Since March 2020, many of our existing volunteer placements were affected due to the global pandemic. We are in the process of reopening the Involvement Centres and supporting existing volunteers back into their placements or alternative roles, if available. We are working with our volunteers and services to adapt roles to allow volunteering to continue in line with national guidance and provide support to patients, carers, staff and services throughout Nottinghamshire Healthcare.

Due to this, we are restricted in what roles we are able to advertise for new volunteers in our services.

Volunteering Opportunities

We hope to advertise for new volunteer opportunities soon. Please check this page for updates and information on how to apply. Our regular volunteer newsletter also gives updates on the team and our progress in re-opening our volunteering opportunities. You can also see examples of Involvement Projects on our Involvement pages.

Befriender - Rampton, Retford
Volunteer befrienders visit socially isolated patients within our services. They are recruited according to the needs of the patients and to reflect the population of the hospital.

Due to restrictions on visitors, the Rampton Befriender & Volunteer Team have had to temporarily suspend recruiting into the befriender scheme. To contact the team direct, email.

They are recruited from many diverse sources with particular emphasis on matching ethnicity and the specific needs of the patient, such as male or female, young or more mature, speaking the patient’s own language or being proficient in sign language.

There are only three requirements for willing volunteers;

  • that you are over the age of 21
  • you are able to commit up to two hours per month to patient visits
  • that you complete a three day training course, provided at the Hospital

As the majority of the patient population is male however, there is a greater demand for male volunteers.

There is no fixed length of service, but it is preferable for volunteers to commit to an initial 12 month period where possible in order to be able to develop consistency for patients.

Patient & Public Involvement with the Institute of Mental Health
The Institute of Mental Health is an innovative partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. We seek to help transform the understanding and treatment of mental health by bridging the gap between campus and clinic.

Since our formation in 2006, we have established a track record of success, with achievements in delivering innovative inter-disciplinary research that has a positive impact within the health, social care and criminal justice sectors. 

Patient and public involvement (PPI) has always added real value and improvement to our research, teaching, conferences, publications and the delivery of high-quality, evidenced-informed care. People have become involved with the Institute through both formal and informal opportunities.

We have volunteers involved in all aspects of our work:

  • Delivering conference presentations to disseminate the findings of the research.
  • Co-authoring academic papers.
  • PPI volunteers as named co-applicants on the funding bid.
  • PPI volunteers sitting on project management groups or equivalent.
  • PPI volunteers sitting on the recruitment and selection panel that appoints staff to work on our research team.
  • Consulted existing PPI groups
  • Invited a variety of patients and public to meet at events so that we can ask them their views.
  • Conducting data collection interviews with research participants.
  • Facilitating focus groups to collect data from research participants.
  • Collaborative data analysis

We have established an advisory board to oversee patient and public involvement within the Institute of Mental Health to:

  • Support the contribution of patient and public involvement (PPI) across the Institute.
  • Advise the Board and Director on objectives, plans and progress in relation to PPI.
  • Advise on strategic direction and operational actions to help the Institute of Mental Health establish consistent, meaningful PPI work across the whole range of its activities.
  • Seek out, identify and promote innovative approaches and best practice in PPI.
  • Monitor and review the Institute’s performance in relation to PPI, report on barriers to progress and identify opportunities for development.
  • Optimise the contribution and impact of PPI within the Institute, as well as local, national and international communities.

For further information, visit The Institute of Mental Health

Applying to volunteer with us

We have a list of frequently asked questions regarding the application process below. If you need any support in completing the form or finding a role that suit you, just get in touch with a member of the team and we’ll be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I apply to volunteer?

1. A volunteer must first be able to comply with the criteria below:

  • be over 16 years old (Forensic Division is over 21)
  • be reliable, trustworthy, motivated, friendly and flexible
  • able to commit to a minimum of 4 hours per week
  • to commit to at least 6 months with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • emotionally mature, the ability to deal with difficult situations and be sensitive to others
  • you cannot volunteer formally whilst you are an inpatient, however you might be able to be involved in other ways, please give us a call on 0800 052 1415 to discuss this further.

2. See what roles are available

View the latest volunteering opportunities.

3. When the roles are available, they’ll need to complete an application form.

4. When they have completed their registration form, either email, post it or drop it off in person at the Involvement Centres.

5. When we receive a registration form, we make every effort to match the experience, skills, interests and availability to our vacant volunteering roles. 

6. If they are selected for a role, we will contact them via email or telephone to invite them to attend an interview. They will be asked to bring with them the approved forms of ID (PDF) to complete their Disclosure & Barring Service Check.

7. If they are successful at the interview we will contact them to discuss next steps, including further training, induction and other key information about the role. DBS checks and references can take up to six weeks to be cleared, so their role may not commence until after this.

8. Once everything has been completed we will contact them to agree on a start date.

An applicant can contact us at any time to find out what stage their registration is at.

What are the Involvement Centres?

The Involvement Centres are where most of our team are based and work from. We hold a variety of meetings and projects within them. They act as a base for volunteers and are where we offer a lot of our support from.

You can find out where they are and how to get to them here.

What do volunteers do?

We have a wide range of volunteer roles across Nottinghamshire Healthcare. Each volunteer placement has a volunteer role that describes what the roles and expectations are of volunteers. We have a wide range of roles across the Trust with new opportunities being created regularly. Some examples of our roles are here and our current opportunities are available here. You can also get a sense of what volunteers do via our blogs.

I need a work experience placement as part of my course.

We are unable to help with any clinical/shadowing work, work experience or placements that are a requirement of an educational course. The Health Education England website may have suitable opportunities.

Who can I put as references on my application?

We usually ask for references from people who’ve known you for three years, preferably professionals and not friends or family members. If you’re not able to give the names of two people who meet this criteria, contact us as we may accept alternatives or have a “get to know you” period through the Involvement Centres.

What documents do I need for my DBS check?

On your online DBS application, you can select which documents you can provide for your DBS check. For more information on what documents are needed, check the Disclosure & Barring Service site. You’ll then need to bring in your documents in so staff can verify them on the system.

I have a criminal record, can I still volunteer?

If you have a criminal record, we’d ask that you disclose this to us before we conduct a DBS check. For applicants with a forensic history, we would take these to a Mitigation Panel with representatives from HR, Safeguarding and the Volunteering Team. Any incidents are put into context and we review the risks associated with the volunteering placement you’re applying for.

What if we are unable to find a suitable volunteering role for you at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust?

We work hard to accommodate as many people as possible, which is why we ask all kinds of questions, not only the areas you would like to volunteer in but what other skills you have that might help us place you.

Volunteering at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is highly competitive and it is not always possible to place everyone in the roles they would like. Sometimes people applying to be volunteers don’t have the right skills, experience or time commitment we are looking for. 

Please be aware that at any time during the recruitment process – registration, interview, references and DBS checking and training – de-selection might happen.  (we would keep both you informed of the reasons why).

If we are unable to place you, we will endeavour to assist them in finding alternative volunteering roles, either in another setting or through the local Volunteer Centre.

Other volunteering opportunities in Nottinghamshire:

NHS Volunteer Responders

If you would like to volunteer to help the NHS and your local community at this time, the NHS Volunteer Responders are being co-ordinated by the Royal Voluntary Service using the “GoodSam” app.

Nottinghamshire Country Council

The County Council are also keen for volunteers to help support their local
communities. You can sign up to their database using a form or telephone helpline to register how you’re able to help. If you’re not able to leave the house at the moment, but still want to volunteer, they’re keen to set up a telephone befriending service with people who may be able to signpost to support or to help encourage physical wellbeing.

Volunteer groups are offering their services to help people in their local area with things like access to food or medicine, dog walking, transport, and physical and social wellbeing. Take a look at their new support hub to find what help is being offered in your area and get the support you need.

If you’re a current volunteer with Nottinghamshire Healthcare and also want to volunteer with Nottinghamshire County Council, let them know as we may be able to verify your DBS, reference checks and training with them.

Nottingham City Council

Nottingham City Council has a dedicated Coronavirus section on their website with information for city residents to access help. They are signposting potential volunteers to Nottingham Community & Voluntary Service.