We have around 450 volunteers and we are very proud of the priceless help and support every volunteer offers to our patients.
We particularly need volunteers for the following
- To help out at our highly-successful charity shops in Hamlet
Court Road, Westcliff and at Broadway West, Leigh and a
third shop soon to open at Southchurch Road,
- As Carecars voluntary drivers, transporting patients to and
from hospital appointments
- As Feeding Buddies - mealtime companions who help vulnerable
patients to eat and drink
- As Hospital Befrienders to help work with patients with
dementia. The aim of the service is to provide mental
stimulation through books, puzzles, etc, with full training
- Working with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) as part of the
charity's revamped trolley service
Think you might be able to lend a hand? Then we'd love
to hear from you. Full details on each scheme below, plus a link to
our application form. We look forward to hearing from
Our hospital volunteers provide unpaid services to the hospital
in a range of roles designed to complement the work of paid staff.
Volunteering can be anything from a few hours a day up to a few
days each week - and we are grateful for it all, because each
volunteer makes a valued and valuable contribution through their
great diversity of skills, experience and enthusiasm.
There is no such thing as a 'typical' volunteer any more.
Although there are more older female volunteers than other age /
sex categories, the age range has broadened considerably in recent
years. Colleges and prospective employers now place greater
emphasis upon evidence of voluntary work. And more people taking
early retirement and redundancies means we have a fairly diverse
mix of volunteers.
The figure of 450 volunteers encompasses voluntary bodies such
as the WRVS trolley service, Southend Hospital Radio and Southend
Blind Welfare Organisation.
Thinking about becoming a volunteer? Download a registration form and join us.
If you are interested in helping out with the WRVS
Trolley Service, please visit:
Benefits to the hospital
Volunteers can help patients and staff, and roles vary from ward
help to admin assistance, to driving patients to and from their
hospital appointments, to reception and information work.
We run - and are always actively recruiting for - our Feeding
Buddies scheme. Feeding Buddies are volunteers who encourage
patients to eat at mealtimes; if you have been in hospital you may
have noticed these red-tabarded helpers.
Good nutrition is vital in helping patients' recovery, but many
patients often need help at mealtimes, either because they're
poorly or just don't feel like eating. Buddies encourage identified
patients to take a few mouthfuls and also make mealtimes more
enjoyable by chatting and spending time with them. The volunteers
can help in cutting up patients' food, but are not expected to help
those who have swallowing difficulties.
Southend Hospital was the first hospital in the country to
introduce the scheme back in 2006. From small beginnings - it
started on Bedwell ward - we now have more than 60 Buddies working
on a variety of wards.
New Buddies are only placed on wards after they've been given
full training and support. Initial training is done in a three-hour
classroom session, which is held once every six to eight weeks.
There are then three 'shadow sessions' where the new
recruit is placed with a Buddy mentor. New recruits are then
placed on a ward-by-ward basis. As with all volunteers, prospective
Buddies first have to successfully completing police checks,
immunisations and an interview before they undergo their induction
and ward training. For more information read our guide to working on the wards.
We were the first hospital in the country to have Feeding
Buddies. Its founder, Bedwell ward manager Andrea Turner, often
speaks about the scheme to other hospitals and to nursing
conferences. Read more about the role of the Feeding
Buddy or read our feeding Buddy leaflet.
Read more about the role of the Feeding
Buddy and the background to the scheme
If you would like to become a Feeding Buddy, please download an application form and return
it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- For more information please email email@example.com
- Telephone 01702 435555 ext 6135 for
- Telephone 01702 435555 ext 8688 for
Feeding Buddy co-ordinators
Charity shop volunteers
Do you like dealing with people? Working as a team while raising
money to help raise money for the good of the hospital?
If so, then why not think about volunteering for a few hours a
week at one of our charity shops?
We have two shops, one at 183 Hamlet Court Road, next to Boots
the chemist. There is parking right outside, which means we are
getting plenty of high-quality donations, and there is a real buzz
about the place!
The other is at Broadway West, Leigh, opposite Leigh Library
Gardens. Due to the size of the premises, we can accept large items
such as your unwanted furniture and offer free pick-up service. We
will also deliver purchased items to your home at a small
We will also be opening a third charity shop in Southchurch
Road, Southend in the early part of 2019 and will be looking for
volunteers to help out there.
We need more helpers to join the ranks of existing
volunteers, particularly for the afternoons and for Saturdays at
Shifts run from 9.30am-1pm and from 1pm to 4.30pm, and most of
our volunteers do one regular morning or afternoon a week.
Jobs include sorting stock and serving. No experience is needed
and training and support are provided. All travel expenses are
Interested? Please call voluntary services on 01702 435555 ext
6135 (please leave a voicemail), email firstname.lastname@example.org or please download an application
Carecars patient transport scheme
This is a service for patients who have difficulty or are unable
to use public transport. Voluntary drivers transport patients to
and from their appointments, with the hospital covering his or her
Patients give a donation towards the cost of being taken and
picked up of 50p per mile, starting from the time the driver leaves
his or her house. Our volunteer booking clerks make every effort to
pick a driver who lives near a patient to cut down on costs.
We are particularly looking for drivers living in the
Leigh, Shoebury, Rochford and Hockleyareas,
plus those who are willing to travel to Broomfield Hospital in
Chelmsford and to Basildon Hospital. A role description is here.
We are also looking to add to our team of booking clerks,
(located on the information desk in the Cardigan Wing), who handle
booking enquiries, give wayfinding information to patients looking
for a ward or clinic, and liaise with drivers.
Hospital Befriender Service
Sadly, the number of people being diagnosed with some form of
dementia is increasing. It's essential that patients with this
condition are kept as mentally active as possible.
Our Befrienders volunteers work on the wards, sitting with
designated patients to talk, read and play specially-designed games
to promote alertness and stimulate memory.
Various aids to conversation are provided, for example,
postcards of local places, the Royal Family, special jigsaws and
We would ask that volunteers commit to one two hour session each
week on the same ward.
Please contact Jane O'Connell on 01702 435555 ext
Southend Blind Welfare Organisation supports people with sight
loss and is a charity affiliated to the hospital and voluntary
services here. The group is looking for helpers to work in the Eye
Unit to provide non-medical factual information about living with
sight loss, to ensure information is up-to-date, and to talk to
patients and carers. Full training is given.
Phone number: 01702
Maternity unit volunteers
The volunteers are situated at a desk by the entrance to
the unit to welcome patients and visitors to the busy unit and
direct them to the appropriate clinic room or ward.
As well as catering for new mums and mums-to-be, the unit also
runs a variety of clinics and is looking for volunteers with tact,
empathy and discretion in dealing with patients.
for an application form or download a copy of the application form here.
All volunteers will undergo a police check and informal
interview before starting.
Our band of volunteer gardeners do us proud. At the moment we
are blessed with a team of regulars who come twice weekly and make
the hospital grounds look a treat We are also blessed with the
support of local companies, such as Royal Bank of Scotland and
Aviva, who send teams of corporate volunteers to blitz an area on a
one-day basis, especially during the summer.
Hospital library service
The hospital library trolley service volunteers provide the loan
of a book and often a comforting chat for patients at the
hospital. The service is now expanding, thanks to new larger
premises, which means books - paperbacks only - can be cleaned and
Currently the service runs three mornings a week across certain
wards but we are hoping to expand it to five days a week, and
possibly in the afternoons, too.
Pets as Therapy
The benefits of owning a pet in helping to reduce stress and
promote well-being are well-documented, and many of our patients
are delighted to receive a visit from one of Pets as Therapy
volunteers and their dogs.
The voluntary services department works with the Pets as Therapy
charity to accept suitable PAT-accredited dogs on certain wards.
Pets have to pass through a selection procedure to ensure only
those of a calm, obedient and loving nature are selected.
Rewards for volunteers
Each year we hold a special event - buffet included -
celebrating the achievements of our volunteers to which
all helpers are invited. The scheme recognises the work
of long-standing volunteers or volunteers who have provided
something extra special. We also hold a Christmas party, attended
by the hospital chairman and other executives.
Royal Voluntary Service
The RVS will be launching a new and revamped trolley service in
January/February 2019, running from 10am-4pm, and are looking for
volunteers. If you can help, please click http://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/ and
look for the 'volunteer' section.
services: 01702 435555 ext 6135