Our CNWL Volunteering Service has produced a new leaflet, providing information on how you can make a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Download and read the leaflet


Get involved – Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can

If you would like to discuss how volunteers can support your team or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer you can email our

Trust Volunteer Services Manager and team at cnwl.volunteer@nhs.net or by filling out this simple form on Survey Monkey and someone in our service will be in contact with you www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V6FVFD2

CNWL’s Volunteer Service is run by the Volunteer Service Manager, Tariro Gumbo. Tariro has worked for the NHS for over 10 years, she is a regional Chair of the National Association for Voluntary Service Managers.

Volunteers are there to enhance, support and help a service rather than do a job. As a rule, with or without the volunteer, the service should be able to function properly. Volunteers are not able to fill in for a paid role.

Volunteering can be very beneficial to all CNWL Services, the benefits of having volunteers within your team are:

  • The experience of care and support provided to patients is enhanced
  • Public health can be improved and health inequality can decrease
  • Integrated care for people with multiple physical and/or mental health needs can be further supported by volunteers.
  • Volunteers strengthen the relationship between services and communities

Volunteers come from all walks of life and occupations. A large number of volunteers at CNWL are students who use their time here to gain experience and acquire references as part of their degree. Former patients and staff members also volunteer, as well as carers and people who have retired.

CNWL already has over 70 volunteers currently supporting and enhancing our services. Volunteers join the Trust for many different reasons; students volunteer to gain experience for their university degree, retiree’s join to learn more skills and many volunteers just wanrt to give back to the NHS.

Many volunteers at CNWL apply through the NHS jobs website. Another way to become a volunteer is by the User Employment Programme - this is where our Employment Services Team help people who have accessed our mental health services to get back to work. You can find out more about UEP on this page. If you have any questions regarding how someone becomes a volunteer, please contact us at: cnw-tr.volunteer.cnwl@nhs.net

We ask that all volunteers have

  • An Occupational Health check-up
  • A DBS Check 
  • Supply references.

It depends on the service. Ideally volunteers should be in a placement for a minimum of three hours per week over a six month period. There is no limit to how long a volunteer can be in a placement for, it depends on the individual and what placement is available.

Yes, volunteers can be nominated for the Gem Awards. Volunteers support and enhance a range of our services, so it’s important we recognise their vital contributions to CNWL.

The volunteering strategy is currently being devised and will be published in early 2020.

The UEP is when a person who has accessed our mental health services receives a placement in a workplace by referral from an Employment Specialist.  You can find out more about UEP on this page.

Our Volunteer Policy is being revised and will be relaunched soon. Click to view our current policy.

If you have any questions, need advice or need support regarding a volunteer placement, you can contact us at cnwl.volunteer@nhs.net


  • Discharge assistant
  • Hospital guides/navigators
  • Welcome volunteers
  • Governors and trustees
  • Hospital radio
  • Ward and department volunteers including specialist roles.
  • Neonatal family support volunteers
  • Intensive Care, Stroke Ward.
  • Bedside buddies, befriending, reading
  • Dining companions, mealtime
  • Assistance
  • Shop volunteers, tea or café
  • Volunteers
  • Library volunteers
  • Entertainment/music/arts and crafts/
  • Activities
  • Buggy service, mobility support
  • Pet therapy
  • Trolley service

Administrative support

  • Running errands and collecting prescriptions/ test results/paperwork.
  • Chaplaincy
  • Dementia buddies
  • A&E volunteers
  • Support with unplanned admissions
  • Outpatient support
  • Discharge support
  • Volunteer mentors supporting other volunteers
  • Mobility volunteer/physical activity

Primary care & general practice

  • GP patient participation group
  • Social and activity event organisers
  • Interpreters
  • Information stand (signposting)
  • Expert patients
  • Practice health champions

 Community settings

  • First responders
  • Befriending/buddying/visiting
  • Self-care
  • Expert patients
  • Dementia friends
  • Speech and language support
  • Hospital to Home escorts
  • Health champion
  • Occupational therapy activity volunteers
  • Fundraising
  • Support with long-term conditions
  • Peer support
  • Care champions, Care navigators
  • Lifestyle coach
  • Mentors
  • Respite support
  • Counselling
  • Advocacy
  • Information and advice
  • Signposting
  • Organising and running activities/ social organiser/ community connectors
  • Teaching and training roles
  • Delivering equipment and supplies
  • Transport assistance
  • Falls prevention

This list is not comprehensive: it indicates some of the roles undertaken by volunteers within the NHS.

Volunteers often operate across various roles and health settings.