10 NHS volunteers have started a programme that could kick-start their NHS careers with us.

They have all started our new  4-6 month Volunteer to Career programme. Their first day was an event at the Cumberland Infirmary, where they met other volunteers on the programme and a number of staff from different services.

Clare Graham, Volunteer to Career Project Lead said: “This is an exciting time to be involved in the Volunteer to Career Programme. The event was an opportunity for the volunteers to learn about different services from information governance, infection prevention, learning and development, meet other volunteers and relevant members of staff.  As well as having two mentors to support the volunteers, they are also offered additional training throughout their learning journey. 

“The Volunteer to Career Programme has created a new pathway for volunteers to begin their NHS careers through a range of volunteering roles that lead to a national recognised qualification. Volunteers need to complete the six core standards and 60 hours of volunteering over a six-month period. When they have reached this stage, they will be invited to attend for an interview to join the bank register in a healthcare or an admin role. It is now available to 16 year olds. A second cohort is planned early next year.”

One of the volunteers, Meenakshi Padmanabhan, explained why she joined the programme: “I already have skills in a wide range of roles but I was looking for a role to gain experience of the NHS which fits round my family and home life.”

One attendee who qualified as an Occupational Therapist during Covid said: “I wanted to gain practical experience in a ward environment and becoming a volunteer means I can choose when I do this.”

Karena Duffy, volunteer said: “Thanks for today. It really wasn’t what I was expecting but it was informative and really got me thinking about my career within the NHS.”

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