Skip to main content

Helpforce Podcast

Tags: Podcast

16th June 2020


At Helpforce, we believe in the power of volunteering and that volunteering should be fully embedded within the healthcare system. From working with volunteer leaders in acute and community settings, we have the chance to get to know so many talented, passionate and enthusiastic individuals who have done incredible jobs in leading their volunteering services so that their volunteers can give that extra support to patients and staff. We feel there is a need to share that knowledge widely so that more people can be inspired and bring more changes to our healthcare system through volunteering. With that in mind, we have decided to produce this podcast where we interview volunteer leaders in health and care and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge, opinions, and insights.

We hope you will enjoy listening to the podcast and if you would like to share with us topics that you would like us to cover, please send your ideas to

Available episodes:

Episode 4: Rebooting volunteering services and preparing for winter pressures

In this episode, we hoped to inspire volunteer service leaders with new ideas to help them reboot their service following the pandemic. We also explored how NHS volunteering services and organisations in the voluntary sector can work together to prepare for the coming of winter pressures.

We’re delighted to join by two guest speakers, Emma Valentine, Senior Strategic Advisor for Volunteering at NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Professor Jane South, National Advisor for Communities in the Health Improvement Directorate Public Health England.

Questions that we asked our guest speakers in this episode:

  • What are the key principles in the Recovery Framework for the Restart and Recovery of NHS Volunteer services that can help volunteering teams to reboot their services?
  • What is the outlook for this year’s winter pressures and what volunteering services can do now to prepare ahead?
  • How can NHS volunteer services and organisations in the voluntary sector work together?
  • What are the top tips that listeners can use to hep them prepare for the future?

Thank you and we hope you enjoy listening to this episode.

Episode 3: How to engage with clinicians effectively

In this episode, we interviewed Debi McKeown, Lead Nurse Therapeutic Care at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to learn how she has been able to build strong relationships with clinical staff and gained their support for her volunteers.

Debi talked about the approached that she used, the power of social media, and the importance of being resilient. During this interview, you will also learn about Debi’s recovery plan to resume her volunteering service as lockdown measures are being eased.

Hosts: Sally Williams, Helpforce Network Manager, and Vy Tran, Knowledge and Content Manager

Episode 2: What new volunteering roles in hospitals will be developed following Covid-19?

In this episode, we explore the possibilities of new volunteering roles within hospitals following the outbreak of Coronavirus. We are delighted to be joined by two speakers whose volunteering teams have developed new roles to respond to Covid-19, such as volunteers helping patients connect with their loved ones through technology, or volunteers providing support to carers remotely.

We hope you will enjoy listening to this episode.

Hosts: Sally Williams, Helpforce Network Manager, and Vy Tran, Knowledge and Content Manager


  • Emma Wimpress: Head of Volunteer Service at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Maya Jose: Community Involvement Administrator at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Episode 1: How some NHS volunteering services have been responding to Covid-19 and how their experiences are shaping the plan to recover the services (17th June 2020)

Hosts: Sally Williams, Helpforce Network Manager, and Vy Tran, Knowledge and Content Manager


  • Jane Fleetwood, Volunteer coordinator at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barry Pridmore, Head of Volunteer Services at the Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Mandy Cleaver, Volunteering Services and Community Development Lead at the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paul Wharton, Volunteer Coordinator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.