Volunteering in Pennine Lancashire
Volunteering plays a vital part of Health and Social Care in Pennine Lancashire. We strive to provide the best possible care in every way but much of the support we provide would not be possible without our amazing volunteers. Whether it is helping run a fundraising event, hospital radio, befriender in the community or offering a caring ear, our volunteers’ generosity make our services better.
Every day of every year thousands of volunteers make an incredible contribution to improving our health and well-being in Pennine Lancashire. They are active in many different community and hospital settings and they perform an astonishing variety of roles like meeting and greeting visitors, special neo natal care, driving people to healthcare appointments, forming emergency response teams and making a nice cuppa when and where it is needed.
To help us improve the volunteer experience, we are developing standards and quality training in line with the Investing in Volunteers Framework.
Pennine Lancashire Volunteers come from a huge range of backgrounds and reflect the diversity of our communities. If you want to gain useful experience while job hunting or if you want to support career development in health and social care, Volunteering can really make a difference for you and to the services we deliver. You can learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy a great sense of satisfaction in giving which is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Some examples of Volunteering roles:
Local Hospitals – Talk to patients, help patients to select meals, assist with feeding, run errands and bed making.
Dining companions – Assist at meal times – distributing meals, making drinks, talking to patients.
Administration – General administration duties including filing, photocopying, data entry, reception duties.
Gardening – Tend to garden area (watering, dead heading, pruning plants and shrubs.)
Information Centre Meet and greet service – Welcome visitors, ensure leaflet racks are stocked and tidy, seeking patients comments, suggestions and complaints.
Welcome desk – Help visitors with general enquiries, provide directions.
Escorting and directing – Walk visitors to their required destination within the hospital, help with general enquiries.
Blood bikers North West – Blood Bikes North West is an Emergency Volunteer Service that provides the out of hours transportation of urgent medical supplies such as; samples, results and scans, medication and equipment to any NHS establishment within the Northwest.
Community Support (Befriending) – supporting vulnerable adults and children/families in their local community around all areas of social isolation.
Homes for Older People – supporting residents to take part in activities such as crafts, sing alongs and general positive interaction.
Children and Family Neighbourhood Centres – supporting group activities e.g. setting up the room, helping staff with an activity, engaging with families in a positive manner which helps to build confidence.
Information and signposting – providing information to the public and help in signposting them to other local services
Public participation – talking to the public about their experiences of the health and social care sector
Graphic Design – designing/ creating posters, leaflets, etc. and formatting and illustrating reports
Mental Health Ambassador – accompany the Advocate on home visits as a second person and support our ‘pop-up’ advocacy outreach provision and raise awareness of our service in the community
How To Get Involved
Volunteers work as part of a team and usually give around 4 – 10 hours a month and some people do it full time! Usually you have to be 18+. There is never an obligation to give your time – it is your choice. You decide how many hours and when it suits you best. Voluntary organisations will make sure you are properly recruited and trained to work in the role and do all they can to make your time as a volunteer rewarding. They will usually ask you to make a commit to a minimum number of weeks or months in the role.
Click on the links to see what volunteering opportunities are available at each partner organisation:
Volunteer Case Studies
“I worked as a hairdresser in the hospital for 25 years. Finishing work and retiring was a daunting thought so a friend of mine recommended volunteering. I’ve now been here 14 years! I just wanted to make sure I had something to do and now I’ve got a lot of friends here. I really enjoy it, I see people I used to work with and people from my community. There’s a few of us volunteers who have always been together, we have a really good relationship and go out together when we’re not here. I just really enjoy it.”
“Volunteering at Age UK has given me the confidence to be myself and has also made me feel accepted for who I am. I am able to bring my guide dog Bella in with me which is a big help. I can now say that I have an extended family within the shop. Bella does love a play with the odd donated toy though.”
She had always taken an interest in the activities taking place at her daughter’s nursery so decided to volunteer. She initially volunteered on reception. Hasina then helped out in the kitchen where her tasks included making cakes for the centre’s cafe and helping prepare meals for nursery pupils and buffets for external events. Volunteering has boosted her confidence so much that she has recently got two jobs.
Darrel and Dione
As volunteers, Darrel and Dione have been delivering a weekly fitness session to the young people who live in supported housing. They have also been promoting the use of the leisure centre (which is situated across) encouraging the young people to keep active more than once a week and offering to show them around the centre. After delivering fitness classes and working in the gyms, Dione moved into the Health & Wellbeing team as Health Trainer and Darrell has now joined the Healthy Lifestyles team in East Lancashire.
Read more volunteer case studies here.