Helpforce Champions 2023 Winner - Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

2nd October 2023

BDCFT Screenshot 2023 10 02 100424

Nominated for Best volunteer to career programme 2023

Video entry

The Helpforce Volunteer to Career programme has been a catalyst for changing the conversation and culture around volunteering at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCFT). From senior leaders to clinical staff, Volunteer to Career has been embraced in supporting future workforce challenges and embedded in the Volunteer Strategy.

An area of high deprivation and health inequalities, Bradford is not a popular choice when people have freedom of choice about work. Across the healthcare system Bradford's focus is on growing their own, inspiring people of the District to train and remain to work in Bradford. Especially those that have not considered health and social care as a career option.

BDCFT delivered its first Volunteer to Career programme in Health Visiting in 2021. This was a catalyst for the re-opening of baby clinics following COVID. So far 11 people have volunteered in this role with 4 securing employment and a further 4 education places. The success led to the funding of a Children's Services Volunteer Coordinator who is developing new volunteer roles across children’s services.

Volunteer to Career inspired the development of an innovative volunteer role that was more clinically based, opening the door to this type of role elsewhere in the Trust. Our AHP lead wanted Volunteer to Career to support a struggling workforce across a number of disciplines. With her relationship with colleagues at the two acute hospitals, a funding bid was submitted to deliver a project at Place with AHP across the three NHS Trusts.

The project started in 2022. This project has delivered outcomes beyond the direct impact on the Volunteer to Career volunteers. Roles have developed in new clinical areas (podiatry, physiotherapy) and a process was developed to enable volunteers to be recruited by BDCFT, and volunteer within the acute hospitals, progress towards volunteer portability and inspiring the two acute hospitals to think about Volunteer to Career within their own volunteer programmes.

The third Volunteer to Career programme, led by the Best 1001 Days programme (Place) recognised the opportunity to support midwifery. With the youngest population in Europe, Bradford has high demand, higher than average complex births, and a lack of people wanting to work within our maternity units. This project will develop a Volunteer to Career pathway to support the birthing pathway.

These projects are demonstrating how Volunteer to Career can work at Place, together we can broaden the offer to volunteers, growing and inspiring a future workforce from within local communities. The Trust have invested funding to secure the current Volunteer to Career clinical lead for a further 12 months. All volunteers are now asked as part of recruitment if they are interested in a career in health and social care with the response recorded on Assemble. Everyone recognises that this is not a one-time question, some people volunteer for recovery reasons at a time when they are not ready to consider work, but as time passes in their volunteer role, their health improves, and confidence grows, this can turn into a Volunteer to Career conversation.

BDCFT continues to be an active partner with Helpforce speaking at a range of events and to individual trusts nationally about the Helpforce Volunteer to Career programme.

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