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Date: 9 December 2022

Time: 20:36

Frequently asked volunteer questions

Frequently asked volunteer questions

Is there an age range for volunteers?

Currently, you must be 18 years of age to volunteer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB). There is no upper age limit providing you are in good health.

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What is the commitment required to be a volunteer at QEHB?

Regular commitment from our volunteers is essential. All we ask is for you to give two hours per week to support our patients and that if your application is successful you agree to volunteer for us for a minimum of six months.

Please think carefully about your busy life and if you are able to fit in two hours every week to support the patients and staff at QEHB. If you can, we look forward to hearing from you, if you are unsure please contact us to discuss what options may be available.

Many of our volunteers give more than two hours of their time each week and attend on more than one day. The amount of time you can give will be discussed at your interview.

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Will I be interviewed?

Following the submission of your application and being shortlisted, you will need to attend an interview.

This interview will involve discussions on why you want to volunteer, your background and the kind of role that interests you. The interview process also helps us to find you a suitable volunteer placement within UHB.

Unfortunately not everyone is suited to volunteering at QEHB so you may not be successful. Many of our roles attract a high volume of applicants so our volunteer recruitment process is competitive.

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Will I have to attend any courses?

Yes, before you become a volunteer at QEHB you will need to attend our volunteer induction programme.

During induction you will be given instructions and guidance on:

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Health and safety
  • Fire safety
  • Data protection
  • Food hygiene
  • Equality and diversity
  • Security
  • Volunteer code of conduct
  • Dress code
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults

Training is compulsory as we have a duty of care to our patients and to you. Therefore, it is important for us to know that you have the necessary information to carry out volunteer activities in a safe manner and patients are not put at risk.

Whilst you are a volunteer at QEHB you will need to attend yearly update training on selected topics. There are also other training opportunities available depending on the role you undertake.

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Will I be given a uniform?

Yes, it is important for all our volunteers to look smart and professional. The uniform also allows patients, staff and visitors to identify you easily.

You will be issued with a uniform that is appropriate to your volunteer placement which can vary from a tabard, fleece, sweatshirt or polo shirt.

All volunteers will be issued with an ID badge that must be worn at all times whilst volunteering. All volunteers must follow the dress code.

You will be required to pay a one-off £10 deposit for your uniform and ID badge. This will be refunded if you stop volunteering, provided you return your ID badge and uniform to Voluntary Services within two weeks of the date you finish volunteering with us.

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If I am out of work and receiving benefits can I still volunteer?

Volunteering at QEHB will not affect any benefits that you are receiving, providing you still meet the conditions of the benefits you currently receive.

Jobcentre Plus offer a booklet containing more information on volunteering whilst receiving benefits.

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Can I be reimbursed to cover my expenses while volunteering?

Yes, you can be reimbursed for your travel expenses up to a ten mile radius of the hospital, this includes public transport or mileage allowance.

If you require a car parking permit, this will incur a one off charge of £10.00 to cover administration costs and deposit. The fee is refundable if you decide to withdraw your services as a volunteer.

There is limited car parking spaces available at QEHB from 08:00 – 17:00 from Monday to Friday. For evening and weekend volunteering there are more spaces available.

There is a ring and ride service available off-site between 08:00 – 18:00. Details will be provided on commencement.

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Can I choose where I want to volunteer?

The area/department where you volunteer will be a joint decision.

The choice will be based on current volunteer vacancies, your availability and the role you would like to be considered for.

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What if I don’t like my placement?

If you are successful in your application to become a QEHB volunteer we will make every effort to place you in a department that is appropriate.

You are given a three month probation/settling in period when you start volunteering. We will contact you at six weeks to see how you are getting on, then again at twelve weeks to discuss your progress and any problems you may have plus check if role is right for you.

If however, you are not enjoying the placement and finding it difficult to settle in, please speak to your placement supervisor to discuss your progress and any issues. If you are still not enjoying this placement, then please contact the Voluntary Services team who will endeavour to find you an alternative placement.

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Will I need to provide references or other information?

NHS volunteers are recruited to the same NHS employment standards as paid NHS staff.

This means you will have to provide the details below before volunteering at QEHB:

  • Proof of your right to remain and work in the UK if you are not a UK national
  • Two character references from friends/colleagues who have known you for a minimum of three years (family members are not permitted)
  • Information for us to apply for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance (previously CRB)
  • Information in order for us to obtain occupational health clearance
  • Photo ID e.g. passport or driving licence
  • Proof of current address in two different formats

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Will I need to supply a CV?

No, it is not necessary for you to provide a CV to volunteer at QEHB.

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Information to support your application

Each year, over 1,000 people apply to be a volunteer at QEHB but not everyone is suitable for the role or activities involved.

In your applicantion you will be asked to tell us why you will be a good volunteer and member of our team of Care Makers. The information you provide will help us decide if you have the right attitude, approach and willingness to volunteer and give something back to the hospital and local community.

You will need to carefully consider if you are able to make the commitment required.

You should not volunteer to satisfy your own needs, and you cannot use volunteering for an educational placement, extra points for a UCAS application or as a placement on a health and social care course.

Volunteering is a gift of your time that impacts on the experience and well being of our patients.

You must want to volunteer, not because someone else has suggested it.

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