About our volunteers

Volunteers make a unique and valuable contribution to patients, carers, relatives,Marc Barber.jpg visitors and staff at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.  Everyone here is extremely grateful for the time, skills and support our volunteers have offered and we recognise the extremely positive impact this has made for people who use our services, our staff and the community.  

There is a long, proud history of volunteering across the Trust in a range of different settings. We have had an established volunteering programme for over 46 years, and volunteers are seen as an integral part of our teams. The organisation has evolved over this time, and we are now an integrated care organisation, providing both community and acute services and we want our approach in supporting volunteering to reflect this.

Our volunteers make a real difference and the benefits of volunteering is very much a two way process. Not only do our volunteers share their time and expertise to make a difference, but by volunteering people can gain new skills, experience and friends. When you volunteer to help and work with others it can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being, nothing makes you feel better than a meaningful connection to another person.

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We have different volunteering roles to meet different people’s time commitment and skills. We will continue to look at the support we can offer our volunteers, and provide informal opportunities to find out how you are getting on. Results from our volunteer survey told us that:

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If you live in the Tameside and Glossop area and aged 16 or over you are welcome to register your interest to volunteer with us.

Once someone has decided that they would like to volunteer, the joining process includes an initial chat to talk through individual needs and preferences, reference checks, Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and a health check. We aim to make this process as efficient as possible, and tailor it to each volunteer role.

When an application to become a volunteer is made, we will talk about what information is needed and the support that is provided throughout this process. This helps to ensure that, together, we find the right role, team and opportunities based on individual needs and preferences.   

We offer volunteers essential training and a local induction to the areas they will volunteer in, as well as specific training for certain roles. In addition we will expand the learning and development offer available to help people access the skills they need, either as a volunteer, or to help them gain paid employment. In addition to the support and guidance we provide we will also make sure all volunteers receive:

  • Access to training and support to assist people in thier volunteering role

  • Payment for appropriate volunteering travel expenses in line with our reimbursment policy and access to parking (where possible)

  • Regular communication and updates around key information and opportunities

  • A warm welcome and a friendly environment to volunteer in

  • Access to a dedicated Voluntary Service Department who can help and support all our volunteers

We are able to offer our volunteers a number of varied roles across the Trust such as supporting staff and patients in clinical and non clinical areas and also administration roles.  We can offer long and short term volunteering placements and the team are happy to support you in finding a role that suits you.

Can I start immediately?

We have processes we need to follow to make sure volunteering at the Trust is safe, personal and effective. You won’t be able to start volunteering until this process has been completed. As part of this process we will have an informal conversation with you to ensure we are able to offer a suitable role and if successful we will need to complete certain checks which can take several weeks.

Will I get training?

We ask that all our volunteers complete the online e-learning Volunteer Passport.  This training has been designed to support you to volunteer and consist of 12 core  training modules, it can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and shared amongst other NHS organisations.  The training last for 3 years once completed. 

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

We ask that our volunteers are at least 16 years old before joining us, this is because of the responsibility we are placing on you, and because of the some of the checks we’ll need to completed before you start. There is no upper age limit.

Can I just volunteer in one specific place or role?

We will be as flexible as possible to make sure you’re happy in your role and with the time and place you are volunteering. If you’d like to change anything, the Patient Experience and Voluntary Services Team will support you where possible, we are happy for you to volunteer in more than one role.

Can I volunteer for work experience or to shadow staff?

The Trust does not currently offer work experience placements, and volunteers do not normally carry out any shadowing of staff. 

Will this guarantee me a job?

By definition volunteering involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone other than, or in addition to, close relatives. Volunteering in the Trust will not guarantee you a paid position. Volunteering can give you really valuable experience and build skills that can help you to gain paid employment by enhancing you CV within the Trust or another organisation.  The Patient Experience and Volunteers team are always happy to discuss any employment opportunities and support volunteers with their job applications.

Can I claim expenses?

Our volunteers can claim back public transport costs or vehicle mileage at 0.28p per mile (if travelling within Tameside & Glossop).

We have recently launched a scheme whereby our existing volunteers can get priority access to vacancies for paid employment. Volunteering is a great way of getting used to a working environment or building up skills and confidence. 

 

Tony was one of our first volunteers to use the Volunteer into Employment pathway