Salisbury Foundation Trust

Our volunteers

Become a volunteer

The role of the Engage Volunteer is to listen, be a compassionate companion and use the training they receive to match the individual's needs in order to provide an intervention that is tailored specifically to that person.

This role largely involves working one-to-one with older adults in hospital to provide volunteer interventions that aim to prevent social isolation, increase mood, increase cognitive stimulation and provide a safe and supportive environment for the individual to talk.

There are also often opportunities for supporting the management of the programme through facilitating training, conducting research and administration activities.

 

 

Criteria for volunteers

Please make sure you have the following skills before applying to the Engage Volunteer Role:

  • You must either have an interest in psychology (through formal or informal learning) OR an interest in working with older adults
  • You must be able to commit to a minimum of three hours a week for at least 6 months and be willing to attend additional training/clinical supervision sessions, approximately once a month
  • You must have good communication skills and the ability to show unconditional positive regard to everyone with whom you work
  • You must be able to work well within a team

The Process

If you are interested in joining the Engage team and think you have the skills required for the role then we would love to hear from you. Please send us an up-to-date CV as well as a brief covering letter telling us why you want to join the Engage team.

  • Once your CV has been received, one of the team will contact you to discuss your application or invite you in to meet the psychology team. This is an informal interview which gives us a chance to get to know you and equally allows you to find out more about us and decide whether you want to continue with the application process.
  • If you are offered a voluntary position within the Engage team and you wish to accept this, you will be required to complete a DBS form (previously CRB), and a work health assessment check.
  • Once the DBS and work health assessment have cleared we will invite you in to complete the induction training. This will cover all of the information required to work safely in a hospital and all of the basic training to enable you to start working confidently on the wards.
  • Once the induction is complete you will be offered a series of shadow shifts with a more experienced volunteer to enable you build your confidence and start utilising your learning.
  • You will receive regular training and supervision throughout your work to ensure you continue to build your knowledge and confidence in a safe an supportive environment.

All volunteers are entitled to regular training to equip them to support our patients psychologically throughout their stay in hospital.

If you would like to begin the process of joining Engage, please also email your CV, with an explanation of why you would like to join and what attributes you can bring to the role to sft.engage@nhs.net


Volunteers' experiences

Here are what some of our volunteers have said about their experiences volunteering with Engage.

"Volunteering with Engage is extremely rewarding as well as being fantastic clinical psychology experience. We help patients tackle a variety of social, emotional and cognitive difficulties which can be challenging, but training equips us with a variety of interventions and techniques to overcome these. The Engage programme helps to provide holistic care to the patients in hospital which is essential to their overall well-being." – Engage Volunteer

"Being a volunteer with Engage is a wonderful experience. I spend a lot of my time with patients on the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Unit, most of whom have life-changing injuries. It is a humbling experience but also an honour to be a part of their journey through rehabilitation, sharing their ups and downs along the way. My work with Engage has encouraged me to train to become a counsellor. Without the invaluable experience Engage has given me I would not be studying now." – Caroline, Engage Volunteer

"No two patients are the same! I have heard some amazing stories over the last two years that I have been a volunteer. We visit patients in hospital, to take time to talk to them, with the aim of making them feel wanted, cared for and to have a personal identity, and thus raise their self-esteem. Some patients are naturally cheerful and are happy to be in hospital, recognising that it is the best place to be while they are ill; others are anxious about their home situation: who is looking after their pet; what happens when it is time to go home; who will care for them?

"By sharing these various situations with someone it is possible to gain confidence and reassurance that these things will be dealt with at the right time and in the right way. And, as volunteers, we have time to do this." – Mike, Engage Volunteer


 

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
T: 01722 336262 E: sft.pals@nhs.net
© 2021 Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
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