The Trust has a diverse range of roles for volunteers. Volunteers will be aligned to 1 of 3 roles descriptions:

  • Patient facing volunteers – most current volunteers fit into this category, including chaplaincy volunteers, ward volunteers and meet and greet volunteers.
  • Support volunteers - this could be ongoing administration support such as creating information packs for a service, or it could be an ad hoc role such as helping to organise events such as volunteers’ week, or Cumbria Pride.
  • Third sector or partnership volunteers - the third sector in Cumbria has thousands of volunteers working within a diverse range of organisations and charities. A partnership volunteer would be recruited, supported and managed solely by a named third sector organisation, the organisation in question having an agreement with NCIC that approves volunteer operation within the healthcare setting.

Volunteer to career is a brand new programme which can provide a direct route in to work in the healthcare sector. It is ideal for people who are interested in a career in healthcare and would like to gain an insight into the various roles that the NHS offers to see if it’s for them. No other experience or qualifications are needed. This programme is open to our internal volunteers and also external candidates.

This is a 7 - 12 month programme beginning in July 2023 with a commitment to complete a minimum of 60 hours volunteering.

The programme supports your completion of the National Volunteer Certificate / Care certificate and eLearning standards provided by NHS England.

You will be supported each step of the way and will have a mentor who will help you learn the skills you need.

On completion of the programme you will be guaranteed an interview (if desired) to join NCIC’s bank of casual healthcare assistants, administrators, etc. Bank workers are paid for shifts whereas volunteers don’t receive direct payment for their services.

Ward volunteers provide companionship and support to patients, some of whom maybe in hospital for a long period of time.

What tasks can this role include?

  • Assist with preparing patients for meals and assisting with feeding patients
  • Assist with serving meals
  • Cutting up food and opening packaging
  • Collecting and tidying up following meal service
  • Tidying up tables and locker tops
  • Talking to patients, reading with or to patients, doing crosswords, playing dominoes etc
  • Asking patients if they have completed their Friends and Family card and assist with this if needed 

To enable a person with dementia to continue to feel engaged, involved in society and less isloated by their dementia whilst they are in hospital. 

What tasks can this role include?

  • Creating/facilitating opportunities for particpants in meaningful activities
  • Enabling a person with dementia to engage with activities in a safe and enjoyable environment
  • Make and engage in activities with stimulating memory boxes to encorage participation ina 1:1 setting or small groups
  • Theme memory boxes to engage using themes such as school days, holidays, hobbies, activities, work and entertainment
  • To take part in meaningful activities such as card games, dominoes, jigsaws, arts, crafts or spend time chatting, listening to music or reading the newspaper

Macmillan Volunteer

Volunteers provide support and information to patients, family, friends, carers and staff at the Macmillan cancer information and support centre.

What tasks can this role include?

  • Providing an active listening service
  • Answering the telephone and taking clear messages with the name and telephone number of the caller, responding appropriately to requests for information and / or support
  • Responding appropriately/returning calls and messages left via voicemail when the Centre is closed
  • Responding appropriately to emails, those who feel comfortable doing so
  • Providing information booklets, leaflets and printouts where appropriate
  • Appropriate referral to Welfare Rights/Benefits Adviser, collecting information necessary to facilitate such a referral
  • Signposting or referring Centre users to other services and sources of appropriate support and information specific to their identified needs
  • Updating the Information Centre stock and resources when necessary
  • Ensuring adequate supply of information resources throughout the chemotherapy, radiotherapy, outpatient and other relevant departments, in CNS stock and display areas available
  • Undertaking outreach tasks where appropriate, in conjunction with Service Manager
  • You are willing to help support people affected by cancer
  • You are confident enough to talk to patients, visitors and staff
  • You are willing to be a “friendly face” with a sympathetic manner
  • You have a good sense of discretion and willingness to help
  • You enjoy chatting with people and putting them at ease
  • You have excellent listening skills
  • You are empathetic, non-judgemental and inclusive
  • You can offer one morning, or afternoon per week

Can be located in one of the department entrances of the hospital where they will welcome outpatients and visitors. They can help people navigate their way around the department, taking them into waiting areas,  reassure and support people attending clinics and appointments or visiting family and friends. 

What tasks can this role include? 

  • Provide practical help, offering advice and directions
  • Escort patients and visitors to wards or departments
  • Seeking out people who are looking lost or in need of assistance and helping them
  • Keep patients informed about waiting times, liaising with reception and clinical staff
  • Offering companionship, comfort and support to patients

Our Speech After Stoke volunteers work with adult patients in the community. They assist our Speech and Language Therapists in group sessions and on a one to one basis by:

  • Building a relationship with the group members and families
  • Assisting members with group activities
  • Assisting making refreshments for our members
  • Assisting members of the groups with mobilising to and from toilets, if required
  • Building confidence within the group
  • Befriending our members

To enhance patient experience and staff wellbeing through supporting with ward tasks, liaising with relatives and contributing to the holistic support approach for patients.

What tasks can this role include?

  • Supporting patients to make video & phone calls to relatives
  • Assisting patients to use services provided by the hospitals e.g. Hospedia TV & phone where requested
  • Supporting ward clerks with tasks e.g. answering the phone, taking messages, restocking supplies
  • Supporting ward staff with providing updates to family members as directed by the ward manager on duty e.g. patient discharge plans  Liaising with relatives where patients are in need of personal items e.g. clean clothes, toiletries
  • Supporting ward staff with the planning and arranging of visitors to wards
  • Supporting with patient discharge questionnaires
  • Talking to patients who are lonely or isolated
  • Supporting patients with activities to encourage memory and stimulation e.g. looking at photos and newspapers and playing games
  • Supporting health care assistants with distributing and clearing away patient meals
  • Updating ward Patient Experience posters monthly

The volunteer will be located in one of the entrances of the Cumberland Infirmary or West Cumberland Hospital where they welcome outpatients and visitors, help people navigate their way around the hospital and reassure and support people who are attending clinics and appointments or are visiting friends or family.

What tasks can this role include?

  • Carrying bags of clothing / item to the identified ward
  • Carrying bags of dirty clothing from the identified ward to the relative
  • Communicating with relatives
  • Communicating with ward staff / security staff / interserve staff
  • Offering advice and directions
  • Accompanying patients and visitors to wards or departments
  • Building up a rapport with patients and visitors
  • Locating wheel chairs if required
  • Befriending patients
  • As necessary, you may be asked to direct patients and staff to the hand sanitizers, and ask anyone who does not a mask to use one of the masks provided by the Trust.

What is the purpose of the role?

The patient panel is a group of local people who volunteer their time and skills and work in partnership with the Trust. With a maximum of 20 members, who have recent experience of being a patient or carer. The aim of the Patient Panel is to build a strong partnership between the Trust, patients and the public and ensure that everyone’s ’voice’ is heard.

What tasks can this role include?

  • To act as a patient/public representative on a designated group/committee within the Trust and work within the parameters of the Terms of Reference for the Patient Panel.
  • Support with the 15 Steps visits.
  • Support with the Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE).
  • To help review information for patients produced by the Trust e.g. patient letters, patient information leaflets.
  • Ensuring the organisation’s website and other externally facing communications are accessible and clear and patients would judge them ‘patient friendly’.
  • Support with the quality reviews (mock inspections).
  • To be a member of the Trust Patient Panel which includes representing and promoting the panel at any/all appropriate opportunities.
  • Other activities and tasks may be added as needs and services arise.

This might be the role for you if:

  • You have a recent experience of the trust’s services.
  • You are passionate about the NHS and being
  • You have the ability to communication with all groups of people.
  • Friendly, caring and approachable personality.
  • Helpful, have patience and have an accommodating manner.
  • Sensitive, compassionate and tactful nature.

Chaplaincy Volunteer

You can find our chaplaincy volunteers on the wards. They do things like:

  • Respectfully approaching patients and introducing yourself and your role
  • Listening to patients or carer's stories
  • Promoting the work of the Chaplaincy in general
  • Building up a rapport with patients, staff and visitors
  • Praying with a patient if they request it
  • Referring the patient to the Chaplain for further pastoral care if required
  • Some volunteers take Holy Communion to the bedside, if they are licenced to do so by their own denomination
  • Joining in Team discussions and training as required

Our Healing Arts Volunteers are part of a long standing programme that uses art as a therapeutic outlet to improve the hospital environment for patients, visitors and staff. Providing support to the Trusts healing art's programme and assist with changeover of exhibitions.They help us to improve our services by:

  • Taking frames down, changing artwork over, replacing frames
  • Assisting with the layout of exhibitions
  • Transporting artwork from the art store to locations within the hospital
  • Mounting artwork
  • Tidying up – replacing labels, noting wear and tear
  • Documenting location of artwork
  • Organising events
  • Setting up exhibitions
  • Liaising with artists and staff/patients prior to the event
  • Encouraging patients to take part

Radio Haven at West Cumberland Hospital is run by Volunteers

They do things like:

  • Maintain the Library of vinyl records, CD's and music stored on the audio server.
  • Obtain music appropriate for our Hospital audience and add to server
  • Identify gaps in the library etc
  • keep records and library systems up to date

To maintain the green space areas' surrounding Hospital and Community grounds.

What tasks can this role include?

  • Litter Picking
  • Maintaining community gardens
  • Orchard maintenance and keeping the grounds well kept
  • Flower and Shrub planting
  • Reporting environmental issues
  • Assisting with community events
  • To be friendly and welcoming to other volunteers, staff and the public.

Pre-Assessment, mid 2022, introduced a new system called LifeBox. This is a digital platform for patients to fill in their health questionnaire prior to their appointment to then get validated at their appointment with the nurse.

What tasks can this role include?

Provide face to face support to assist people who need help to go through their questionnaires. This is to ensure that they are able to provide a true and accurate representation of their circumstances in order to have the best chance of success in assessing appropriate benefits. You will receive full training and support to assess their needs and help them understand how to complete the forms as fully as possible.

Express your interest in volunteering at NCIC