The difference

Volunteers make a difference in many ways – to staff, patients, to communities, and to themselves. The power of giving is unique. To help others join the volunteering movement we are working with our partners to measure some of the innovative new ways volunteers are making a real difference.

Helpforce volunteers

West Suffolk Foundation Trust

At the West Suffolk Foundation Trust, they are creating great new volunteer roles; a discharge waiting area, and a transport companion role. In the discharge waiting area patients are supported to relax and socialise safely with volunteers before being taken home. The transport companion role helps patients on their way home in a taxi, they help settle them when back at home, creating a wraparound provision of care and compassion. These developments prioritise volunteer help for patients who do not have their own family or wider support network, and help to improve the patient discharge processes. Although volunteers never take on the duties of paid staff, they contribute to the delivery of high quality patient care by enabling staff to focus on their roles.

Chelsea & Westminster Foundation Trust

Staff at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital saved 45 hours over a 3 month period, thanks to volunteers collecting medications from the pharmacy team instead of staff. Meanwhile, their attendance rate at clinics raised to 100% since expanding the on-call ‘Bleep Volunteer’ service. Before the volunteers, patient attendance was running at 20%. Discover the successes from across the pilot NHS Trusts in our case studies and explore our report on whether volunteering can create better health and care across the UK.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

In Northumbria, the hospital linked up with local schools bringing enthusiastic students to their wards; opening doors for the students, who brought their energy and enthusiasm to helping staff and patients. In addition they are creating a new ‘therapeutic volunteer role’ to assist with patient mobility

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust

Programme managers are working on volunteer transport services and building volunteer support for mobility on the wards, linking with their End PJ Paralysis campaign. Sandwell is due to be the first site to implement Better Impact – a volunteer management system (funded by Helpforce) that will result in better recruitment, engagement and analysis of their volunteers.

University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

The hospital is introducing a new ward-based volunteer role that combines mealtime assistance, mobility and befriending roles to help patients keep well during their stay.