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Learning Partner to Pears #iwill Fund: Young Volunteers in Hospitals

Learning Partner to Pears #iwill Fund: Young Volunteers in Hospitals

Topline timings: January 2018 - June 2021

Methodology & process: Learning Partner


Commissioned by:

Pears #iwill Fund

Pears Foundation, in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is leading a dedicated strand of the #iwill Fund focused on supporting the growth of inclusive, high-quality, youth social action opportunities through NHS Trusts and their respective charities.

We have been appointed as learning partner to the fund and are working with Pears Foundation, the #iwill campaign, volunteer coordinators in funded NHS Trusts and partners. We are supporting the fund, over two years, to identify and facilitate learning from the projects being piloted or developed through delivery of a peer learning programme. The programme will use a combination of remote and face-to-face delivery to respond to the needs of grantees. 



May 2020 Update: New resources – youth volunteering in hospitals

Our new website shares learning and resources on youth volunteering in hospitals from 30 NHS Trusts and their respective charities, who have been welcoming young volunteers since early 2018. This includes initial reflections on how hospital volunteering – and youth volunteering in particular – has evolved in response to Covid-19.


April 2020 update: We’ve published a new briefing on youth volunteering in hospitals during Covid19UK – this includes ideas for engaging young people in person and remotely. We summarise the main content of peer support sessions for hospital volunteer coordinators which are taking place, and share insights from the Pears Foundation on each Trust’s response to Covid-19 along with thoughts from #iwill ambassadors and NHS England and NHS Improvement:

March 2020 update
: In light of Covid-19, we are hosting peer support sessions for the Pears #iwill Peers. These will be opportunities for the volunteer coordinators across the network to share experiences, dilemmas and concerns.


November 2018: We published two blogs sharing learning from hospital volunteer coordinators on getting started with volunteers under 18 in hospitals and how to embed youth volunteering meaningfully

June 2018: An update sharing reflections on the network and the themes we are working on this year: 


  1. What it takes to widen participation – including, how to make the volunteering offer inclusive for young people with specific needs or Not in Education Employment or Training, as well as effective partnership working with local agencies and organisations.
  2. Evaluation and learning – we want to be gathering, sharing and generating learning about the outcomes and benefits for young people; explore what it takes to gather data on the experiences of patients and staff; and start to describe the ‘model’ or key features of the delivery approach – what it takes to work in this way and what would be ‘lost’ without the funding.
  3. Beginning to plan for exit and consider what it will take to sustain this work beyond the #iwill fund – the group are currently exploring how to influence decision makers and win ‘hearts and minds’.

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