Make a difference…
…volunteer with Dorset HealthCare

Our vision for volunteering is to enhance the experience of people using our services, and help shape the care we provide.

Our ambition is that volunteers have a personally rewarding experience, know they are making a real difference and are recognised for their contribution.

We have around 400 volunteers supporting the NHS, who tirelessly and generously give their time to our hospitals and services for patients and visitors. We have a caring approach, and with the goodwill and dedication of all our volunteers we aim to enhance the quality of patient lives and encourage the local community to be involved with Dorset HealthCare.

View our volunteers gallery and find out why they enjoy their role.


What do volunteers tell us?

I really enjoy my role working with patients - gardening, painting and helping with social events. I can also see how it helps the staff.


I was a service user (Poole Pain Clinic). My life improved learning about self-management and feeling supported by the wonderful team, so I decided to give back and volunteer for the service


I gained great experience of the NHS by volunteering – it helped me get a job


Volunteering gives you purpose in life to help others you help yourself, by caring for others while keeping positive and active.


Why volunteer for us?

Volunteering is very important to Dorset HealthCare. We encourage, value and support the efforts of individuals who give their time and energy to benefit the Trust and our patients. We welcome applications for volunteering from across our community and know that volunteers bring with them a diversity of experiences, backgrounds, skills, ages and outlooks which offer added value to our Trust services.

Who can volunteer?

The minimum age is 16 although in some areas of the Trust the minimum age is 19. There is no upper age limit; however the volunteer must be physically able to fulfil the duties of the role. We ask for a minimum commitment of six months to enable you to get the most out of your volunteer experience and to attend at least once a week.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteering roles at the Trust are varied, interesting and rewarding. Our volunteers help with a wide range of tasks including:

  • Recreational activities with patients, such as reading and playing games
  • Pastoral and spiritual care with the Chaplaincy volunteers
  • Gardening
  • Befriending; talking and listening to patients
  • Mealtime companions
  • Mentor and support patients

Benefits of being a volunteer

  • Not feel so lonely
  • Improve your mentalhealth and well-being
  • Give something backto a hospital or service you have usedMake new friends and enjoy yourself
  • Develop new and useful skills
  • Become an active citizen within your community
  • Feel good for doing something worthwhile
  • Claim out of pocket travel expenses

How to apply

We try to make becoming a volunteer as easy as possible, but our volunteers do need to complete a recruitment process that includes an online application form (or call us and we’ll send you a paper version). We’ll also complete a disclosure and barring process (DBS), which checks criminal records – not all convictions prevent you from volunteering. Please don’t worry we’re here to help you every step of the way.

More information

If you would like more information about opportunities available or full details of the application process please contact:

Kim Mansbridge | Volunteers Development Lead
Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
11 Shelley Road
Tel: 01202 443089
Email: dhc.volunteers@nhs.net



There is no money, there is no fame
And it’s not for personal gain
It’s just to help the human race
And show a kindly face
To give others the gift of time
Can be something that defines
It’s that feeling of pride
You know the one, deep inside
So let us say, we appreciate
All the efforts that you make
To help others every year
That makes you a VOLUNTEER

Written by Kim Mansbridge our Volunteers Development Lead