Volunteering FAQs

Trust volunteer

Before you apply to become a volunteer at the Trust, please read these frequently asked questions.


Can I start volunteering straight away?

Patient and public safety is paramount to the Trust, so all volunteers must first go through a DBS (criminal record) check and occupational health checks. They must also provide suitable references and complete mandatory training.

How long is the recruitment process?

It can take up to two months before you start volunteering. This depends on how quickly we receive your references, DBS check and occupational health clearance.

Are all applicants accepted for volunteering?

Each stage of the application process is assessed and is an opportunity for you and the volunteer team to work out whether volunteering at the Trust is right for you.

Will I have an interview?

Yes. There will be a one-to-one discussion for each role.

What training will I receive?

There are specific training sessions that all volunteers need to complete either before or shortly after starting work. You will also have a local induction on your ward or department on the day you start.

I am a student – can I apply?

We do accept students over the age of 16 but we want you to have a good volunteering experience with us, so please think carefully and decide if you would be able to fit in a regular volunteer commitment alongside your studying.

I have a disability, can I apply?

Yes, we encourage you to apply and will do our best to provide the appropriate support to enable you to volunteer.

What are the legal requirements for volunteering?

You must be legally entitled to work in the UK to apply to be a volunteer. If you are in the UK on a visa, please check with the UK Border Agency that you are not in breach of your visa’s terms and conditions.

I am doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  Can I volunteer?

Please tell us when you apply what level of the award you are doing as we cannot accept applications from students under the age of 16 years.  This will enable us to manage your – and our – expectations.

I need a work placement for school/college. Can you provide this?

The volunteering teams do not organise work experience. Information about work experience is on a separate section of the website, or you can email lg.workexperience@nhs.net

I want to shadow a doctor or a midwife.  Is that possible?

The volunteering teams do not organise shadowing.  If you are a student planning a career in healthcare, please visit the work experience section of the website.

Can I volunteer just for a few weeks?

We do not take on volunteers for such a short time because recruiting costs us time and money. To be a Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust volunteer, you should be able to give at least four hours a week for a minimum of six months.

Can I claim travel expenses as a volunteer?

Yes, we are able to help with travel expenses, but only up to a value of £3 a day.

Do I need to wear a uniform?

Yes, you will be supplied with a Trust polo shirt if volunteering in patient areas. We also have a dress code policy, which we will explain to you during the recruitment process.

Will I be given an ID card?

You will be given an ID card and a red volunteer lanyard that you should wear at all times when you are volunteering at the Trust.

Will you provide me with a reference?

We can give you a reference when you have volunteered for six months, but this will be based on your attendance only: we are not able to provide character references.

Will I be able to get a job in the hospital?

Although many volunteers do subsequently obtain work in the Trust, volunteers should not assume that paid work in the Trust will automatically follow.