The Volunteer to Career™ programme allows people to explore careers in health and care while volunteering. This means Volunteer to Career can be part of the solution to workforce challenges.

Find out about the programme’s impact and how it works – and how you could use the programme to support your organisation's workforce strategy.

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How Volunteer to Career programme makes a difference to organisations


of volunteers completing the programme have gone into secure jobs, education or training.


of staff say volunteer support helps improve the quality of service they can provide to patients.


increase from 64% - 79% in attitudes around volunteering, including improvements in volunteering culture, community integration and workforce planning.

(Data from 22 NHS organisations that took part in the programme, updated in January 2024. Staff: N=324, Volunteers: N=142 of 229 volunteers who have completed the VtC pathway)

About the programme

Bringing together a strong team

The programme’s success is founded on strong support from the health or care organisation, involving clinical and workforce leads as well as the volunteering team. This means the programme not only gets buy in from the organisation, it also ensures volunteers get help with the clinical aspects of their role, guidance into a career, and wider support of their wellbeing and progress.

A clear pathway from volunteering to employment

The Volunteer to Career programme identifies a pathway for volunteers to develop their careers in health and care. The pathway is designed around the organisation’s identified workforce needs. And it sets out how volunteers can make step-by-step progress and an informed decision about applying for employment or starting education or clinical training.

Supporting people from the start

Right from the start, the programme allows volunteers to support patients, their families and clinicians. This eases pressure on the service, as well as improving patients’ experience.

At the end of the programme, health and care organisations can recruit the volunteers, knowing they represent a talented, compassionate pool of potential employees, with a solid understanding of how things work in practice.

Be inspired

"The introduction of the Volunteer to Career programme provides an excellent vehicle for harnessing talent and enthusiasm to make a difference to our service users and their carers and families."

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Bob Champion, Chief People Officer, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation trust

Find out how the Volunteer to Career makes an impact on individuals and organisations

Volunteer to Career can help with your local workforce recruitment. Our evidence shows it brings in a diverse group of people with an interest in a career in health and care - and the majority of them go into a job or further training.

Our wide, well-grounded experience and evidence means that Helpforce is supporting Volunteer to Career pathways in health and care settings across the UK – from a local hospice, to ambulance trusts and GP surgeries.

Are you interested?

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