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Volunteering

Western Trust Volunteering Logo

 

“Volunteers don’t get paid because they are worthless but because they are priceless”

Sherry Anderson

 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Western Health and Social Care Trust. Volunteers play an important role within our services, working in a variety of departments alongside our staff and helping to enhance the patient and visitor experience to our hospitals and community settings.

Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to help your own community and is a rewarding way to dedicate your time to a cause you care about. Through volunteering you can develop new skills, achieve personal goals, take on a different challenge and develop friendships.

We welcome volunteer enquiries from anyone who is at least 16 years old and has time to give on a regular basis, even one morning or afternoon per week can make a real difference. Volunteer roles are available in each of our hospital sites in Altnagelvin, Omagh and Enniskillen and across many of our community services.


  • How do I become a volunteer?

    You need to complete a registration pack. This includes details of two people that can provide a character reference and a Health Declaration form. We can accept your completed and signed forms either as scanned copies via email or posted to our office address. Some roles will also require an Enhanced Access NI check.

    Once we have received your completed forms, we will discuss our current volunteer vacancies with you and will help you choose which volunteer role is most appropriate to you, based on your interests, skills and experience.

    We will invite you to attend a volunteer induction session prior to introducing you to your volunteer role and the ward or service where you will be placed.

    To request our current Volunteer Registration pack please email volunteering@westerntrust.hscni.net

  • Meet the Team

    Our Volunteering and Work Experience team are on hand to guide you through the volunteer recruitment process and assist to make it as straight forward as possible.

    Geoff Hunter

    Volunteering Team Staff Profiles - Geoff Hunter

    Geoff Hunter
    Volunteering and Work Experience Manager
    Altnagelvin Hospital
    Geoffrey.Hunter@westerntrust.hscni.net

    Wendy Doherty

    Wendy Doherty

    Wendy Doherty
    Volunteering and Work Experience Co-ordinator
    Altnagelvin Hospital
    Wendy.Doherty@westerntrust.hscni.net

    Michelle Thompson

    Volunteering Team Staff Profiles - Michelle Thompson

    Michelle Thompson
    Volunteering and Work Experience Officer
    Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex
    Michelle.Thompson@westerntrust.hscni.net

    Stacey Clarke

    Volunteering Team Staff Profiles - Stacey Clarke

    Stacey Clarke
    Volunteering and Work Experience Officer
    South West Acute Hospital
    Stacey.Clarke@westerntrust.hscni.net

  • Volunteering Roles

    We have a diverse range of volunteer roles across each of our hospital sites in Altnagelvin, Omagh and Enniskillen as well as many of our and community services.

    Current volunteer roles include;

    • Meet and Greet
    • Wayfinding
    • Mealtime Friend
    • Ward Helper
    • Macmillan Information Service
    • Day Centre Volunteer

    If there is something in particular you are passionate about, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss the possibility of creating new roles.

    Please contact our Volunteer Team for further information.

    Email | Volunteering@westerntrust.hscni.net

    Call | 028 7161 1155

  • Meet and Greet / Way Finding Role

    Meet and Greet Volunteer

    Volunteering within the Western Trust offers wonderful opportunities to those of all ages, the Meet and Greet/Wayfinding role in particular offers a real sense of satisfaction.  Our wayfinding volunteers support those coming for appointments or to visit loved ones.  These volunteers offer a warm and welcoming greeting at the entrance to our Hospitals.  They direct patients and visitors to the relevant ward or department or may accompany them to where they need to be.  Their engaging conversation alleviates the sense of apprehension patients may have when attending our acute hospitals, and of course, it is a great way to get your steps up!

    Patients who attend our Out Patients Departments are often anxious, worried and unsure.  Our volunteers are there to guide patients through the Check in System and to ensure they are in the correct waiting area.  Patients and staff alike have said that volunteer support is invaluable.  As a Trust we cannot underestimate the importance of volunteer involvement and how much it is appreciated across our entire geography.

    Our volunteers have commented how rewarding this role is and how it offers a sense of purpose.  Many feel an increased sense of confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing.   Volunteers enjoy meeting patients and visitors from all walks of life and their involvement greatly enhances their hospital journey.

    If you wish to become involved, reap the personal benefits of volunteering and make a positive difference within your local hospital please get in touch, we would love to hear from you!

    Volunteering@westerntrust.hscni.net or contact 028 7161 1155 or 028 7161 1469

    Staff  feedback 

    I just wanted to highlight my appreciation for the service that the Volunteers provide to Outpatient Dept. and the hospital in general.

    They are a welcoming face to all patients that arrive who can be extremely anxious and to an area that is strange to them.

    They give up their time to assist others, some of which have dedicated years to the service, which is highly commendable.

    May this invaluable service go from strength to strength. A massive Thank you to all involved.

    Meet and Greet Volunteer with Service UserVolunteer Feedback

    • I am finding volunteering incredibly rewarding and a wonderful experience!
    • …..I love it and look forward to coming in every Thursday.  I enjoy meeting and assisting the patients coming to attend the various clinics and feels so rewarded when the patients who come to me after their appointment is finished to thank her for my help. It makes me feel good about myself and happy that I am in a position to be able to help.  I feel so much more confident in myself since starting volunteering.
    • I would definitely recommend others to volunteer, as it was beneficial to me.
    • I still volunteer and continue to find it incredibly beneficial. Thank you again for the opportunity I cannot fault anything, all the staff members are helpful and kind if I have a question about anything. I continue to enjoy my role as a volunteer!
    • I feel part of the team and the staff are lovely
    • The thing I like the most is having a real sense of purpose with what I do. It’s great to think that even 2 hours of my time can help the staff and patients.
    • I get a great sense of satisfaction.
  • Volunteer Refreshment Service - Altnagelvin Emergency Department

    Volunteer Refresh Altnagelvin Emergency DepartmentThe new Volunteer Refreshment Service in Altnagelvin’s emergency department has been well received.  Volunteers are attending at various times of the day to offer a hot drink and a biscuit to those within the department.  Unfortunately many of our patients are having to wait longer than they would like and s such a hot drink with a friendly chat can alleviate what can prove to be a stressful time.

    Patient feedback

    • My 72 yr old mother had been waiting for a bed in one of the wards for a really long time in Altnagelvin Emergency Department and my 71 year old father had to sit with her. A volunteer had come round and offered her some refreshments. Now while she didn’t want anything, they offered it to my Dad as well who was over the moon at the offer and gladly accepted it. It brought a smile to his face during a really long stressful day. Thanks what an amazing lovely service

    Volunteer Refresh Altnagelvin Emergency DepartmentVolunteer feedback

    • I enjoy the role because of the sense of purpose it gives me. I feel valued when doing it as most patients and relatives are very appreciative. It is obviously a much needed service. I also enjoy chatting to everyone 😂.
    • I had fun!

    Staff feedback

    • The support of volunteers in our busy department is greatly appreciated, I have seen the sense of relief on a patient’s face when they are offered a cuppa.  I cannot underestimate the difference such a gesture can make to those spending time in ED.  We offer sincere thanks to those who are so willing to give up their time.

    This is a new role volunteer role within Altnagelvin and, following it’s proven success, we would be keen to increase volunteer involvement.  If you are interested in attending once a week for 2-3 hours and are over 18 we would love to hear from you.

    Email | volunteering@westerntrust.hscni.net Telephone | Wendy on 02871611469

  • Volunteer Profiles

    Marcella is one of our Macmillan Information and Support Volunteers in Omagh Hospital. Volunteering is a great opportunity to give back to the community and support others in a time that can be the most difficult time of their lives, especially after a cancer diagnosis.

    Learn more about becoming a Macmillan Volunteer with the Western Trust by contact our Macmillan Information and Support Service on 02871611139


    Martha Magee, Macmillan Information and Support Service Manager outlines the role of volunteers within their service and appeals for others who may be interested to make contact with the Trust’s Volunteer Service.


    Pauline is a Meet and Greet Volunteer at our South West Acute Hospital and she told us, “I feel so happy and content when I leave the hospital after a few hours volunteering, knowing that I have helped people, makes me feel on top of the world!”

    Pauline, Meet and Greet Volunteer at our South West Acute Hospital


    Molly helps out at Altnagelvin Hospital as a Mealtime Friend and hopes her volunteering role will support her plans to have a career in health care in the future.

    “I wanted to get a feel for what it’s like to be on a ward in the hospital, helping out at meal times and interacting with staff and patients”

    “I love to bring patients their meals and talk to them about how they are, staff are really friendly and accommodating and are always there to answer any questions I may have”

    “Volunteering gives you a chance to work on your communication skills and can give you a great foundation for working in health and social care in the future, or if your just looking to help out and meet new people, volunteering is a great choice. So why not come join us?”

    Molly, Mealtime Friend volunteer at Altnagelvin Hospital


    “My name is Niall and I help out in Omagh Hospital as a Meet and Greet Volunteer with the Western Trust. I really enjoy volunteering at the Hospital, it is a very interesting and rewarding role. Throughout my time volunteering I get to meet a large number of people who I otherwise would not have met. I recommend volunteering to anyone because it is a very interesting role.”

    Niall, Meet and Greet Volunteer at Omagh Hospital


    Volunteer Profile – Sinead

    Volunteer Profile Sinead

    Volunteer Profile Sinead

    “Hi, my name is Sinead and I am a Meet and Greet Volunteer at South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen. I am positioned at the main entrance to give assistance to those who may need it when they enter the hospital, especially visitors attending outpatient appointments. I enjoy being a helpful hand to those who are unsure of where they are going in the hospital or how to check themselves in for a clinic. I feel that I am providing a great amount of help and support to people every week.”

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Is there a minimum/maximum age to be able to volunteer?

    The minimum age to be able to volunteer is 16, we have no upper age limit.

    Do I require an Access NI check to be able to volunteer?

    Some of our roles will require an Access NI check due to the nature of the tasks or the location in which you are volunteering.

    Is there any training provided?

    All volunteers will have an induction session with the Volunteering team whilst any relevant additional training will be provided depending on the role.

    How long do I have to volunteer for?

    We ask volunteers to commit for a minimum of six months, with most volunteers usually attending one session per week for a few hours.

    If I don’t like the role once I start volunteering can I change it?

    Where possible we try to accommodate changes to volunteer roles, but this will be on the basis of availability of an alternative role and the volunteer’s suitability for a role.

    Can I claim back any travel expenses?

    Yes, as a volunteer you can claim for reasonable reimbursement of out of pocket travel expenses including public transport such as bus tickets or mileage costs if using your own car.

    Is work experience the same as the volunteering programme?

    Work experience is a structured and time bound programme which supports one to five day placements in specific areas within the hospital. You are unable to complete more than five days on the work experience programme.

  • Contact Us

    Volunteering Service
    Ground Floor, North Wing,
    Altnagelvin Hospital,
    Glenshane Road,
    Derry/Londonderry,
    BT47 6SB

    028 7161 1155
    Volunteering@westerntrust.hscni.net

  • Volunteering Privacy Notice

    Our Volunteering and Work Experience Team will collect information about you to assess your suitability for a volunteering or work placement within the Trust.

    We will only collect the necessary information, which will include:

    • Name
    • Contact details (Address and Email)
    • Date of Birth
    • Health information (so the Trust is aware of any medical or mental health conditions to fulfil its duty of care to you and to the Trust’s staff, patients and clients).

    We will retain the information for up to 3 years upon the completion of your volunteering and will securely dispose of the information at that point.

    The information you provide will be shared with relevant services across the Trust to secure the placement but will not be shared further, unless required by law; or for a statutory purpose; or to investigate a health and safety incident; or to investigate any potential criminal activity; or to review an incident as per the Trust’s Incident Management policy.

    You may withdraw consent for our holding of your information, at any time by contacting the Team at volunteering@westerntrust.hscni.net. This is also the contact email for any general queries you may have about your information or the Trust’s data protection and related policies.