Recite Me

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Volunteering for us

Volunteering for us

Volunteers play an important role in our Trust by providing non-clinical support to Staff, Service Users and their Carers.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

We welcome volunteering applications from anyone aged 18+, especially from residents of our Boroughs, people with lived experience of mental health difficulties and/or of caring for someone with a mental illness, and from representatives of the different cultural, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as sexual and gender orientation, of the communities we serve.

If you are looking for work or study placements, including ERASMUS, study and summer internships, please contact our joint SWLSTG and SLaM Education and Development Department who deal with enquires of this nature. Their email address is

Please be aware that the recruitment process takes an average of just over two months. Once recruited, volunteers will need to undertake all mandatory training before they can start a volunteering placement at the Trust. The training process takes on average four weeks. Before applying to volunteer with us, we ask you to ensure you can commit to the entire length of the recruitment and training process, which is about three months in total. 

Why volunteer?

People volunteer for lots of reasons:

  • To gain practical experience of working alongside experienced clinicians and with/for our Service Users.
  • To support any of our different Mental Health Services.
  • To meet other mental health enthusiasts, champions, and future practitioners.
  • People with first-hand experience of using our Services, or of supporting someone who has, volunteer with us to say thank you, and to help us improve the work we do.

How much time can I give?

  • It is completely up to you to decide
  • Generally, our volunteers start with offering a couple of hours per week for the first 4-6 weeks. This is normally enough for volunteers to understand how services operate, get to know Service Users, and find their feet within the team.
  • After the initial 4-6 weeks, volunteers may choose to increase their volunteering hours based on personal circumstances and reasons for volunteering.

What type of volunteering could I do?

We have a variety of roles including:

  • Chaplaincy volunteering: we aim to have representatives of all different religions and forms of spirituality, and volunteers play a paramount role in this
  • PAT Dog/Cat: if you have a registered PAT dog or cat, get our service users to cuddle and play with them
  • Befriending: sitting with our patients and talking to them about everyday things. This is another powerful way of bringing normality to someone’s life on the ward
  • Assisting with activities: working alongside our Occupational Therapists and Activity Coordinators to make many different activities available to our Service Users. Engaging in activities is a proven way to help someone recover / maintain physical (e.g. manual), cognitive (e.g. concentration) and social (e.g. conversational) skills. It is also a great way to get to know Service Users, and for them to get to know you.
  • Supporting Service Users in the community: reducing someone’s loneliness, or sense of hopelessness, by joining them for coffee, shopping, a walk, and other activities in public areas. You will be supported by professionals who know the Service Users well and will help you assist them as safely and effectively as possible.
  • Admin / clerical posts: supporting Teams with updating activity timetables, photocopying, printing, minute taking, etc.
  • Assist our Communications Team: for example by taking photos of Trust events; video recording / video editing interviews with volunteers / service users / staff as a way of celebrating their successes and telling their stories; promoting our Services by looking after our social media profile.

Will volunteering cost me anything?

No. We will reimburse travel expenses against actual receipts (you can claim up to the ‘Pay as you go cap’ – daily anytime - adult - zone 1 to 6 journeys). We will also provide subsidised lunch if you volunteer for more than six hours in a row, and over the lunch period.

How long can I volunteer?

There is no set minimum or maximum amount of time. Some of our Volunteers have been with us for over 20 years, and of course we would like you to stay as long as possible too. But life circumstances change, and we welcome your input for however long you can offer it. Once you start on a volunteering placement, we strongly recommend committing for a minimum of 6 weeks so as to be able to find your feet within the role and decide if volunteering with us is right for you. We are normally happy to provide references once Volunteers complete six months or more with us.

How do I become a volunteer?

Simply send us an email. Please ensure you:
  • Enter Volunteering in the subject title.
  • Include your name, surname, telephone no. and email address (if different from the one you are using) in the main text.
  • Briefly tell us why you would like to volunteer with us.
We will then get in touch with you to arrange a meeting and take things from there. We look forward to hearing from you soon!