We are developing new volunteer roles all the time. You may choose to volunteer at the Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, or both. There are also some opportunities to volunteer at our partner mental health service for 0-25s, Forward Thinking Birmingham.
We are currently able to offer volunteering opportunities in the following areas:
Ad hoc volunteering (including 4x4 Snow Angels)
Could you give a few hours to support a fundraising initiative or other type of event? Join our volunteer bank and we’ll contact you from time to time with ad hoc opportunities to support non-patient-facing events.
You need to be 18+. There may be other requirements depending on your role.
All volunteers should be able to provide documentation to prove their identity and right to work in the UK.
4x4 Snow Angels
Do you own a 4x4 vehicle and are competent/comfortable driving in winter weather? When snow or other challenging weather conditions make ordinary commuting impossible or dangerous, 4x4 Snow Angels help our staff get to and from work safely.
You need to be 18+ have a full clean driving licence that allows you to drive in the UK. You should also own a suitable vehicle in good condition with MOT, tax and insurance.
To ensure our staff are kept safe you will need you to undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service or ‘police’) check.
To maintain the highest standards of care for all patients throughout their treatment at both of our hospitals, a strong administrative and clerical team is of the utmost importance. Administrative volunteers may have minimal patient contact, but provide invaluable support to many departments throughout our Trust, often bringing a wealth of work experience and skills to the role.
Breastfeeding Support Volunteer
Would you like to become a Volunteer Breastfeeding Support Volunteer?
Offering breastfeeding support on our wards as a volunteer can be a very rewarding experience for both our volunteers and the mothers and babies who receive support. Breastfeeding support is very specialised so we offer a comprehensive 20-hour (over 10 sessions, usually once a week) training course, with an extra week for assessment. After that, one of the Infant Feeding Team will provide on-going mentoring and supervision during your volunteering time. If you are already a trained breastfeeding supporter, please get in touch - we would love to welcome you as a volunteer with appropriate transferable training.
While we recognise that volunteers’ circumstances can change, we would ask that due to the resource we need to put into training for this role, you are able to commit to being available for at least 12 months after completion of the training. The Trust will provide additional training such as Safeguarding and Criminal Records Bureau checks.
Please note: It is important that you aim to be available for every session as each contains important elements and information making up the whole. If you feel this may be difficult for you to achieve due to other circumstances, please think carefully before committing to the course.
What is involved in being a breastfeeding supporter?
In the main, you will be based on the Postnatal Floor at Birmingham Women’s Hospital in Edgbaston, (Wards 3 and 4) for as many hours as you can manage – we are particularly keen to have you available at evenings and on weekends.
Staff will ask you to see mothers who are breastfeeding and ask them how they are doing, listen to them and offer help and support. The staff will always be on hand if a mum has issues you are are not able or comfortable to deal with.
Our mums find having someone who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding and has time to listen to them and help them work out what to do is invaluable – you will greatly enhance their experience of breastfeeding and their time on the Ward.
If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will help our patients to have a more enjoyable and comfortable stay by visiting the in-patient wards and offering various amenities. This is quite a physical role and involves a lot of walking! Most Care Cart visits take place during the early evening.
We pride ourselves on the extremely high standard of care our patients experience. Within clinics, our volunteers help to complement and enhance that experience by helping staff with basic administrative duties and ensuring patients are comfortable while they wait. You may be asked to chaperone some patients. Clinics vary enormously in size, so this role can also be very varied.
Demonstrating empathy, kindness and resilience, you will provide a friendly and helpful welcome to patients, families and visitors to the Emergency Department at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. This busy and potentially demanding role includes a huge variety of tasks, from keeping the area tidy to playing with children, and from providing a listening ear to making cups of tea. You will also assist with general way-finding and directing. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept under-18s in this role.
We encourage all of our volunteers, especially our young volunteers, to include a fundraising aspect to their time with us. Volunteering in this way is especially suitable if you would find weekly volunteering to be a challenge or if you would prefer to avoid a hospital environment. Our charities’ missions are to raise the vital funds needed to make a real difference to all who use our hospitals’ services, offering them the best experience possible. By supporting us as a fundraising volunteer, you will be making a real difference to the lives of thousands of families when they need it most.
Meet and Greet
Many patients and visitors coming to Birmingham Women’s and Children’s hospitals require help and information, especially when arriving for the first time. You will be an important part of the patient’s overall experience during the period of their stay in hospital. You will be a welcoming face, able to escort people to their destinations, or give clear directions. As part of this role, you may also be asked to collate and distribute appropriate literature.
As a play volunteer, you will help us to provide a friendly welcome to the ward and assist in providing practical support to staff and families. You will support the play facilitator in providing creative play opportunities and by reading to patients and visiting siblings. Due to the nature of the tasks, this is a daytime-only role.
Our reading volunteers are passionate about reading and want to pass on the love of reading to others. This role involves reading stories to patients and siblings and encouraging them to read on their own, ensuring the highest standards of care are provided. Ideally, you will be happy to adapt your reading style to suit children of all ages. You will also be responsible for checking and maintaining the quality of our book stocks.
Having an organized and visible supervisory presence is vital for our volunteering shifts to run smoothly. You will be the point of contact to ensure the right volunteers are in the right place at the right time and answer basic queries. Offering a listening ear to volunteers who may appreciate extra support goes a long way in making their experience rewarding.
You will be helping our staff by supporting with a variety of duties, which vary depending on the hospital and ward to which you are assigned. You will be asked to escort patients and visitors around the hospital, run a drinks trolley, clean equipment etc. Your role will also include chatting to patients and families to help them feel at ease and to reduce feelings of isolation.
Partner volunteer opportunities
We’re also proud to have connections with various organisations and local groups who provide even more support to our hospitals. If we’re unable to find a role that fits your availability, you could try contacting one of the following:
Radio Lollipop is an international charity organisation founded in 1979 to provide care, comfort, play and entertainment for children and young people in hospitals. The service is provided entirely by volunteers who have been specially selected and trained to make a child's stay in hospital more fun and less frightening.
Run by Sociability Care, Noah’s Star is an independent charity that supports the siblings of sick and premature babies admitted to the Neonatal Unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital. As well as being a stressful time for parents, having to spend so much time at the hospital is difficult for the siblings of preterm babies. Helping to meet the varied needs of siblings allows parents to spend more time bonding with and caring for their new baby while reducing the risk of sibling rivalry.
Pets as Therapy is a national charity that aims to enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally-assessed animals. They provide a visiting service on wards and outpatient areas at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
The Royal Voluntary Service is a national charity that aims to offer a friendly face and someone to talk to in hospitals through its shops, cafés and trolley services. RVS volunteers provide support within the Women’s Hospital by running our coffee shop on the ground floor.
BLISS is a charity that provides volunteers to support newly-delivered mothers of premature or sick babies.
Volunteers from CLAPA (Cleft Lip and Palate Association) offer peer support to patients and their families attending Cleft Lip and Palate clinics at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Mothers’ Union volunteers offer listening support to parents in the chapel of Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Band members from the Salvation Army Birmingham Citadel visit the Children’s Hospital once a month on a Sunday to bring music and entertainment to patients, families and staff.
Network Trust opportunities
In order to further our support for the #iwill social action initiative, we are working with other NHS Trusts in our region, and nationally, to support the development of programmes for young volunteers. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Trusts below, each of which already has a well-developed volunteer programme. Further information will be added to this page as the Regional Network grows and develops.
Opportunites from age 16+
- Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
- Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Imperial Health Charity
Opportunities from age 17+
Opportunities from age 18+
- Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Heart of England
- Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
- The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
- Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust