CNWL needs you - become a volunteer today

We are looking for people from across the community to help continue providing care to our services, support our service users, their carers, friends and family and our staff. 

Our volunteer roles change regularly based on the needs of our services.

For a full list of roles, visit this pagePlease note we are currently processing a high volume of applications and therefore our response times are slower.

Covid Vaccination

As an NHS Trust we strongly encourage and support vaccination as this remains the best way to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues and of course patients and service users when working on our healthcare settings

Our Volunteer Policy sets out all you need to know about volunteering with us.

CNWL volunteers play an important role in complementing the work of our staff. Volunteering enables members of the local community to participate and gain valuable experience in our work, benefitting service users, carers, staff and the overall community.

Volunteering can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health and is a great way to meet like-minded people. Volunteering can also help you gain new skills and experience in different environments, roles and areas of work.

Volunteering at CNWL NHS Trust also enhances the services we provide and strengthens the relationship between services and communities, helping transforming patient and carer experience, and supporting our teams’ resilience.

There are some other tangible benefits to volunteering:

  • You can get references after six months for future volunteering roles or employment
  • Volunteers can be nominated for the Gem Awards, recognizing your hard work and dedication
  • We cover the travel expenses you have incurred in your role and some light lunch expenses when you volunteer for more than four hours

We work with CNWL teams and services to develop roles that enhance and support our patient and staff experience, rather than doing a job. You will never be asked to do duties that are part of a paid role.

The link below will take you to a website with all current roles, where you can see more information about what each of them entails, including times and locations. If you decide to apply for one of them, you can do so from this online application portal.

It will take about 20 minutes to complete the application, and you will be able to save it, so you don’t need to finish it in one go. You will need to create an account before you are able to apply for any role.

Please follow this link to see a list of our current roles. 

After you apply, one of our friendly team members will call you for an informal interview, explain more about the role and check it is a good fit for you.

Following this, we will need to carry out some checks and vetting, which involve a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service), reference checks and an Occupational Health assessment. The team is always available to help you and guide you through these steps.

You will also have to take part in some online training courses, accredited by Health Education England, as well as some other relevant training depending on your role.

CNWL NHS Trust has local arrangements in place with educational institutions, so their students can undertake professional placements and training. Please check with your educational institution as to whether they can facilitate this for you.

Outside of these arrangements, the Volunteer Service cannot facilitate placements or training directly. We cannot facilitate short-term work experience placements.

Quick links


To start volunteering, you need to go through our recruitment verification process which includes the following:

  • Interview
  • Proof of right to work documents
  • Occupational health assessment
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • References
  • Online Mandatory Training

Once these steps have been completed, you will be ready to start volunteering.

The length of the recruitment process can vary depending on a number of factors such as the completeness and accuracy of the documents and forms needed to carry out the checks, the speed of DBS checks, the need of a one to one Occupational Health assessment and the availability of references. In our experience, it can take anytime between two and eight weeks.

Our aim is for volunteering to be accessible for all, as well as a good way to re-enter employment or education.  If you haven’t been at work/ education for a while, you can ask a person that knows you well to be a character reference.

They can be a professional or a friend or colleague. They will have to know you for over one you and they cannot be related to you or live in the same household. We will need an email address for them.

CNWL is a Community and Mental Health Trust. As such, most of our services run during office hours Monday to Friday. However, as we also run some hospital wards/ units as part of bigger hospitals, there are some volunteer positions available which do offer weekends and evening volunteer work.

CNWL is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all volunteers.  All volunteers go through an Occupational Health Assessment. The assessment is confidential and information is only shared with a relevant nurse in the Occupational Health Team. 

No one else has access to this information. If you have any needs that may require a more in-depth conversation, one of the OH nurses will have a telephone chat with you. They will then produce a report with recommendations for your supervisor. No health information is disclosed on that report, just a list of recommendations that will make your volunteering placement more enjoyable. All the information will be handled sensitively and in accordance with data protection laws.

Volunteers, including those participating in the VtC program, cannot engage in clinical or therapeutic work. Clinical work encompasses tasks performed by health and social care professionals such as diagnosis, treatment, and counselling, which require specialised training and expertise, as well as being accredited by the relevant registration body.

Volunteers in non-clinical and clinical roles may assist with administrative tasks, support services, engage with patients, or community outreach, but are not permitted to perform tasks that require medical or therapeutic expertise.

Volunteers should never be out of pocket when they carry out their roles. CNWL is committed to reimburse any agreed expenses volunteers incur as part of their role.

These will need to be firstly discussed and agreed by your supervisor and the Volunteer Services Manager. Volunteer claims, alongside valid receipts, can be submitted and paid monthly via the Trust Expenses system: Selenity.

Yes, volunteers can take breaks and time off volunteering. We appreciate you let us know in advance so we can plan for your absence.

Unfortunately, CNWL Volunteer opportunities are only for individual volunteers. It is not designed for families, friends or groups. However, if you have a partner, friend or family member who is also interested in volunteering, we encourage them to apply to volunteer with us as well.