You can support outstanding patient care by joining our volunteering community. We have opportunities for all kinds of people who want to put their time to good use and make a positive impact.
Volunteering can help you build skills, increase your understanding of the NHS and know you're making a real difference to patient care - three of many reasons to get involved.
We've set out an exciting vision where volunteers are making a real difference by being involved in every aspect of our work. You can read more about it in our 4 year plan.
Find a volunteering opportunity
We have been working on our new volunteer management system called Better Impact. Through the new system, exisiting volunteers can log in and new volunteers can view the current volunteering opportunities that are available at the Trust.
Better Impact login:
Through Better Impact, you can access volunteering opportunities. See what roles we have on offer through the Better Impact web page below:
If you're an existing volunteer, you can log into Better Impact below:
Volunteer better impact timeclock
Log your volunteering hours simply by starting and stopping your clock at the beginning and end of each shift with the Better Impact Timeclock.
About our volunteers
Volunteering and engaging with patients has many benefits including:
- improving the health or experience of those receiving care
- improving services for other people
- the beneficial impacts on volunteers themselves.
Our volunteers say it best with their volunteering experiences and impact. Hear from some of our volunteers below:
A Volunteering Case Study: Charldoux's Journey with West London NHS Trust
Charldoux, originally from Namibia, brought his seven years of Information Technology (IT) sector experience to the United Kingdom when he arrived with his wife in September 2022. In his quest to help others and develop his social skills, Charldoux decided to volunteer his time with the Trust. This case study explores his volunteering experience, including his motivations, application process, role, and aspirations.
Charldoux's eagerness to assist others, explore the working environment, and discover new places drove him to pursue volunteer work. After applying online, he was contacted by the Volunteer Service Manager, who discussed the various roles available with him.
Currently serving as an Events Support Volunteer, Charldoux desires to expand his involvement by dedicating more hours and supporting patients through collaboration with Health Care Assistants. He looks forward to each volunteer shift, often finding it difficult to sleep the night before. To ensure he arrives punctually, Charldoux wakes up early, keen to contribute and make a difference in the lives of others.
Charldoux highlights the inclusive and welcoming environment within the volunteer team, which makes him feel like an important part of the organisation. One instance of his dedication was when there was a shortage of volunteers for an afternoon shift. Charldoux willingly stepped up to cover the gap, highlighting his passion for volunteering and the joy he gets from his experiences.
His ultimate dream is to become an NHS employee. His enthusiasm for personal development and the achievement of new skills fuels his excitement for the future. Through his volunteering experience, he aims to gain valuable insights, nurture professional growth, and contribute meaningfully to the healthcare sector. Charldoux's journey as a volunteer with the Trust demonstrates the power of volunteering. From his initial motivations to his expanding role, he shows a genuine passion for helping others and personal growth.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I have been working with young people for over 19 years as a qualified Mentor and Youth worker professional. The experience learnt has provided me with the passion and enthusiasm towards making a positive contribution around mental health. Throughout the last seven and half years, I decided to put these skills and knowledge into good practice by supporting adults and patients with mental health support needs.
What do you gain personally from volunteering?
With the years gone by, I've really enjoyed working together with patients and their social workers to design and deliver bespoke programmes for each patient.
One programme involved supporting a patient to write a letter to the mother of his child to improve communications between the two of them as parents. For another patient, I put together a presentation based on his country of origin and presented this to him during one of our meetings.
One of my stand-out achievements as a volunteer has to be when I was selected out of many volunteers to write an article which featured in one of the Hospital’s bulletins.
What difference do you think you are making for the team?
As a respected and accomplished volunteer within the team, I was invited to deliver a PowerPoint presentation in last Autumn about my effective ways of working with service users during an induction for new volunteers. I felt honoured and well appreciated from my peers to be involved in this delivery.
Last year, before the Queen’s death, I was nominated for the Jubilee Queen’s Awards by my volunteer supervisor based on my volunteer work at the Hospital. It was a huge honour to be considered for such a prestigious award, let alone shortlisted.
Would you recommend this type of volunteering and why?
I would definitely recommend this type of volunteering. It is a particularly interesting role for people working or studying sociology or criminology and for anyone interested in the general mental health area.
Our Pets As Therapy (PAT) programme is supporting staff and patients' well-being by offering animal companionship provision, as reported by Luca (pictured) and his human, Poonam Bhogal, one of our dedicated PAT volunteers, who is also a member of staff at the Trust.
Through the PAT programme, Poonam and Luca have been able to offer:
- 43 hours of volunteering within 6 months
- support to 51 patients and staff.
I really enjoy bringing Luca into work with me as I find it really cheers up my co-workers, and creates a positive and happy environment. The staff enjoy having Luca around and always ask when he is in next.
I notice change in staff’s mood where they are more smiley and they take time out to come to play and see him. It breaks up everyone’s day and I can see how it helps improve their mood.
For me, I love being able to make a positive impact for my team and seeing how having Luca makes such a difference to people. Not just staff, but also patients we visit. It’s hard to explain in words.
I feel so grateful that West London NHS Trust are able to support this scheme.
This Student Volunteering Week (13-19 February) we would like to thank all the students who offer their time and volunteer in a range of roles at West London NHS Trust.
We spoke to Jasmine Dancel, a postgraduate student at the University of Westminster, about her volunteering experience at the Trust.
In this volunteer case study, we explore the experiences of Sharon Thompson, Associate Director for Community and Recovery Mental Health Services. Sharon recognised the value of involving volunteers in their service, particularly in creating a newsletter to engage staff and share news. This case study highlights the benefits, surprises, and recommendations for colleagues considering volunteer involvement in delivering mental health services.
Sharon's role as the Associate Director for Community and Recovery Mental Health Services revolves around promoting mental health and well-being within the community. Recognizing the importance of community mental health services, Sharon decided to involve volunteers to lead the creation of a regular Service Newsletter. This initiative aimed to keep staff and community members informed about upcoming events, success stories, and relevant updates, raising awareness and reducing stigma associated with mental health issues.
The decision to engage a student volunteer to write the newsletter brought numerous benefits to Sharon and the service:
Increased focus on other responsibilities: By delegating the newsletter writing task to a volunteer, Sharon could allocate more time and attention to other critical responsibilities related to mental health services.
Opportunity for mentorship and guidance: As a volunteer supervisor, Sharon found personal fulfilment and reward in guiding and supporting the volunteer's growth and skills development.
Gaining new insights: Volunteers often bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, which have expanded Sharon's own knowledge and understanding of community mental health issues.
She says: “Having a volunteer to lead in writing a newsletter for a community mental health service can be a great way to engage staff and share news. Launching the service newsletter supported us with keeping staff and community members up to date on the latest news and events related to the service. Things like upcoming events, success stories and other updates.
The newsletter has also increased our ability to raise awareness about mental health issues in the community which can help reduce stigma and increase understanding and support for those living with mental illness.
Our staff felt more connected to the service too, and by engaging and including them in the newsletter it helped us create a sense of community within the organisation. “
The involvement of a student volunteer in writing the newsletter brought positive surprises. The volunteer's unique perspective, creative ideas, and enthusiastic approach transformed the newsletter into an engaging and informative read. This fresh energy and innovative approach added value to the service and exceeded initial expectations.
Based on her experience, Sharon wholeheartedly recommends colleagues to become volunteer supervisors and involve volunteers in delivering their services. The benefits of volunteer involvement, including the opportunity to mentor, learn from fresh perspectives, and enhance service offerings, make it a worthwhile venture. Embracing volunteers can add a different dimension to the service and create a sense of community within the organization.
Looking ahead, Sharon intends to review the service area in partnership with colleagues to identify new opportunities for volunteer involvement. She says:
“This may include one to one support volunteers, befriending or telephone support for those who use our service. It will also be useful to work alongside colleagues in our voluntary sector organisations to identify projects for joint collaboration.”