Become a Volunteer

PAT dog with child on bed


This page gives lots of information about how to become a volunteer. For information about work experience, please click here.

Why Become a Volunteer?

  • The satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something for others
  • The opportunity to become part of a team
  • The chance to make new friends
  • Experience of working in a busy hospital
  • Opportunity to gain confidence if returning to the workplace

What do Volunteers Do?

Volunteers work in a number of areas around the hospital, including:

On the wards

You could befriend patients on many of the wards at the hospital. You could read to them, help them write letters, arrange flowers or help at meal times or with refreshments.

In clinics and reception areas

You could become involved in a wide range of administrative duties, from answering the telephone and filing to directing and escorting patients to various clinics.

In the snack bar within the Children's Outpatients Department

You could help to serve refreshments to patients and their carers.

On the Meet and Greet information desk

Dealing with enquiries and escorting patients, relatives and visitors around the hospital.

And many other placements across both hospitals at Lewisham and Greenwich

How Much Time Would You Need To Give?

As little or as much as you are able; we will always try, where possible, to arrange the hours to suit our volunteers.

The only thing that we do ask is that you make a regular commitment - normally we encourage new volunteers to start by giving two to three hours a week of their time for a minimum period of six months.

Please note that Voluntary Services does not cover short-term work experience - for this, please see the work experience section.

Will You Be Given Any Training?

Yes. We provide induction training for all volunteers. You will also have the opportunity to attend other courses that are relevant to the work you are doing, for example listening skills, health and safety etc.

When you join as a volunteer, you will be given a description of the task that you are expected to carry out in any given area and a member of staff will be on hand to provide help and supervision.

Can Anyone Become a Volunteer?

Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and age groups within the local community. If you would like to become a volunteer, you will need to provide the names and addresses of two referees, be health checked with our Occupational Health department and have a Police (CRB/DBS) check completed.

No previous experience is necessary, but you will need to be a good listener and someone who can readily understand the needs of individual patients.

New volunteers are always welcome. We ask only that you are reliable, willing and aware of the need of confidentiality when dealing with patients. As long as there is a suitable vacancy, we will always try to arrange your placement so that it matches your particular skills and interests. There is a one month probationary period and help with expenses may be available.

How Do You Become a Volunteer?

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer the first thing to do is to contact Voluntary Services or make a personal enquiry at the hospitals if you are not on the phone.

Contact Lewisham Hospital Voluntary Services:

Tel: 020 3192 6418

Contact Queen Elizabeth Hospital Voluntary Services:

020 8836 6548

You will be invited for an informal chat to discuss your interests and a possible placement. You will be given all the necessary forms to fill out and once the paperwork has been satisfactorily completed, you will be ready to start.

The Voluntary Services Department staff organise all the voluntary services throughout the hospital and are available during working hours for advice and support.

How Do You Become a Chaplaincy Volunteer?

Chaplaincy volunteers have a very special role at the hospital, building up relationships with patients and staff. Volunteers are welcome from all faiths and training is provided. You will be allocated a ward which you will visit weekly and the chaplains at the hospital provide support and guidance.

If you are interested, please contact Chaplaincy on 020 8333 3299. or via

Before becoming a chaplaincy volunteer, you will need to register with the Voluntary Services Department.

Where Can You Get More Information?

If you have any questions about volunteering in general, please contact Voluntary Services:

Contact Lewisham Hospital Voluntary Services:

Tel: 020 3192 6418

Contact Queen Elizabeth Hospital Voluntary Services:

020 8836 6548

For information on paid employment, please see the work for us page.

How We Are Performing

Emergency department at Lewisham Hospital

Key Targets
How we are performing against key targets >>

External Assessments
What external organisations think of our services >>

Patient Feedback
How patients rate the care we provide >>

Why Choose Us?
Find out about why you should choose us for your care >>

If you have a compliment, query or complaint regarding your care, please contact PALS >>

Give Us Your Feedback

There are lots of ways you can give feeback about the care provided by the Trust.

Tell us what you think >>