Youth volunteering in hospitals

Find learning and resources from 32 NHS Trusts and their respective charities, who have been welcoming young volunteers since 2018.

We are a learning partner to Pears Foundation, the #iwill campaign, volunteer coordinators in funded NHS trusts, and partners as they introduce or expand youth volunteer programmes in hospitals.

This page is for those setting up or running youth volunteering programmes in hospitals. It compiles resources and learning from the Pears #iwill Fund, which supports the growth of inclusive, high-quality youth social action opportunities through NHS Trusts and their respective charities.

It has been an incredibly moving experience to see how young people have responded, adapted and grown in this unfamiliar world we are currently in.

Volunteer voices

For #iwill week 2021, we worked with volunteers and volunteer coordinators to share their experiences, celebrate the achievements of young people and advocate for youth volunteering in hospitals. Click on the cards below to read more young volunteer stories.

Rosie – Dorset

‘This is our story, our experiences’. Interviews filmed by Rosie.

Beth – Birmingham

I got to express a service user’s voice and aid decisions. I love being part of the Youth Panel Advisory Group.

Aditi – North West Anglia

‘We get to learn many things not taught in schools’.

Darcy – Leicester

‘I was making a difference to somebody’s day’.

Phoebe, Aimee and Saniha – Leeds

Three volunteers answer questions about the value of volunteering for themselves and the NHS.

Profile picture of young volunteer from Leeds Hospital.

Olivia – Lothian

‘I became aware of how over-stretched the NHS could be and wanted to support’.

A profile picture of a smiling volunteer with volunteer jumper.

Romina- Lothian

‘I would 100% recommend volunteering as something everyone should do’.

A picture of young volunteer from NHS Lothian.

Ishan – North West Anglia

‘I’ve had more of a dynamic role than one may think’.

Profile picture of young volunteer.

Ariana-Fatemah – North West Anglia

‘Volunteering at the hospital will prepare you for your future’.

Profile picture of young volunteer.

Megan and Lucy – North West Anglia

‘Being a part of a volunteer team has given me so many skills’.

Two volunteers sitting next to each other showing their certificates.

Learning and impact

An infographic of youth volunteering in NHS.

Never underestimate young potential

Youth volunteering at West Hertfordshire Hospitals

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How to embed youth volunteering – meaningfully

Tips from hospital volunteer coordinators

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New roles and adaptations for young hospital volunteers
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Working with young volunteers during Covid-19

In person

How are the network engaging volunteers in person?

Remote opportunities

How can you offer remote volunteering opportunities?

Maintain engagement

How do you maintain engagement with young volunteers?

Manage risk

Ideas on how the trusts are managing risk

Get support

The network peers raise four things that would support their work.


A balancing act: Youth volunteering in hospitals, in the context of Covid-19
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Reimagining hospital volunteers – getting started with under 18s

Tips from hospital volunteer coordinators

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Junior Volunteering Toolkit
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In partnership with

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With thanks to West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and our whole community of NHS Trusts and their charities, for the photos used on this page.

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