Royal Free

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Current Volunteering Opportunities

Ward Helper

To assist the housekeeper with duties, as detailed below. To give companionship to patients, dementia companion volunteers are welcomed to the ward to engage with all patients including those living with dementia. Volunteers also to assist in facilitating communication between patient and family with the use of the ward iPad. 

Skills Required

  • Good listening skills, ability to understand instruction 
  • Good verbal communication skills
  • Approachable & helpful 
  • Adaptable 
  • Caring, supportive & empathetic 
  • Patient 
  • Physically able to push a trolley 


Volunteer Tasks & Responsibilities 

  • On arrival on the ward always report to the nurse in charge/nurses station before joining the housekeeper 
  • Making tea/coffee, serving refreshments to patients  
  • Helping patients to fill out menu cards, except where a patient has particular dietary needs requiring qualified guidance from staff
  • Assisting patients to prepare for meals i.e. preparing trays and ensuring they have everything they need. (Not including the moving and handling of patients). 
  • To tidy the patients table if needed.
  • Assist staff in serving meals, taking trays to patients. Volunteers must never feed patients.
  • Assist staff with supplies - Top up gloves, aprons, syringes and alcohol gels and assist staff in unpacking deliveries
  • Engage and provide companionship to patients.
  • Help facilitate communication between patient and family with the use of the wardiPad. 


The Role does not allow a volunteer to: 


  • Get involved in any domestic duties including bed making or cleaning  
  • Speak to a patient’s relative to update on their condition  
  • Feed patients,especially Nil by mouth patients  
  • Take patients to the toilet  
  • Support a patient’s weight beyond a steadying hand or arm  
  • Exchange personal details with patients or visitors  
  • Take on any clinical tasks  
  • Enter isolation rooms or bays

Meet and Greet

Volunteer Tasks & Responsibilities  


The hosptial has become busy once again with patients coming into the hospital for clinic appointments. Patients have been found wandering around the hospital lost, due to some clinics relocating.  Volunteer are required to approach them and ask if they know where to go and if they need assistance.  This must be done from 2metres apart. 


Please note with regards to assisting patients who require a wheelchair, volunteers can assist patients in an emergency or if there are no available porters. The volunteer must wear appropriate PPE (mask only), try to maintain socially distancing as much as possible and must have received wheelchair handling training.  

Skills Required 


  • Good verbal communication skills  
  • Good listening skills  
  • Able to work under own initiative 
  • Familiar with the hospital 
  • Adaptable & Helpful 
  • Calm under pressure 
  • Adhere to social distancing at all times 



The Role does not allow a volunteer to: 


  • Enter wards   
  • Support a patient’s weight beyond a steadying hand or arm  
  • Exchange personal details with patients or visitors   

Admin Support

Volunteer Tasks & Responsibilities:   

The role requires volunteers to support different departments Administration Teams, this entails:  


  • Supporting sending out clinic letters to patients  
  • General admin and clerical: email, printing, filing, organising etc.  
  • Possible data entry depending on IT competency.   
  • Attending wards for specific tasks such as delivering and collecting patient notes, property etc.  


This is not an exhaustive list of tasks and responsibiities. Each department and clinic has it's own requirements, and a full role description will be given to you before you start an admin support role.

Skills Required: 


  • Good communication skills especially listening  
  • Approachable and helpful   
  • Professional and discreet  
  • Administrative competence   

Any other tasks must first be cleared with the key staff contact and  

the Volunteer Team Manager 


Please note that this role does not include: 

  • Exchanging personal details with patients or visitors. 
  • Reading medical records. But can collect files from medical records with permission from the ward/clinic.   
  • Accessing Cerner, entering/deleting data on patient databases or on medical records.  

Emergency Department and AAU Support

Volunteer Tasks & Responsibilities:  


The emergency department requires volunteer support with the following  


  • to direct patients to where they need to go at the lower ground floor entrance and along the green corridor in the emergency department.  
  • to assist in the restocking of the trolleys in the stock room 
  • helping with deliveries in the stock room 
  • make teas/ coffees for and patients in AAU 
  • talk with patients with dementia in AAU 
  • support patients in AAU with technology so they can talk to their loved ones on the phone 


Volunteers will be provided with necessary PPE as well as patient surveys and necessary stationery.  

Skills Required: 


  • Good verbal communication and team working skills 
  • Good listening skills and ability to understand instruction 
  • Approachable and helpful 
  • Caring, supportive and empathetic 
  • Patient 
  • Physically able to push a trolley and move stock safely 

Any other duties/tasks must first be cleared with the key staff contact and  

the Volunteer Team Manager. 

Discharge Lounge Support

Volunteer Tasks & Responsibilities

  • Supporting staff and patients in the discharge lounge
  • Offering refreshments to patients
  • Supporting staff with ad-hoc tasks

Skills Required

  • Good listening skills
  • Approachable and helpful
  • Adaptable and supportive
  • Must be over 18 years old

The Role does not allow a volunteer to:

  • Lifting, pushing, pulling or moving heavy objects
  • Handling patients’ wallets/purses without a witness.
  • Exchanging personal details with patients, visitors, staff

Shop Trolley Volunteer

Shop Trolley Service 


Times required:  Mon – Fri AM/PM  

Skills Required 


  • Numerate
  • Physically able to push a trolley 
  • Good communications skills
  • Approachable & helpful 
  • Adaptable 
  • Supportive 


Volunteers are expected to use hand gel before and after leaving each ward and adhere to the bare below the elbows policy ie no bracelets/watches and rings apart from wedding rings. 



Volunteer Tasks & Responsibilities: 


Volunteers will take the shop trolley to patients who are unable to visit the hospital shop.    

The shop trolley leaves each morning from 9:30am-12:00pm and again in the afternoon from 1:30-4:00pm.   

The shop staff (WH Smith) will be responsible for ensuring the correct stock is on the trolley.    

The Volunteer Team are responsible for who is assigned on the Volunteer daily rota to assist on the shop trolley. 


On arrival the volunteers should sign in at the Volunteers Office and then report to the Shop manager with their ID badge. 


WH Smith staff are responsible for the stocking of the trolley and preparation of the float. There will be hand gel and a calculator provided on the trolley. 


Volunteers will be expected to make a note of every item sold and how much it cost and tick off on the stock list.  This will be handed back to the shop at the end of the shift together with the float. 


Volunteers are expected to take their time with patients and chat to them while doing the rounds.


The Role does not allow a volunteer to: 


  • Handling patients’ wallets/purses without a witness. 

  • Leave the hospital building whilst accompanying a patient 

  • Have access to confidential medical records 

  • Undertake any cleaning  

  • Stock the trolley or take stock from the shop without permission from WH Smith Staff. 

  • Exchange personal contact details with patients or visitors. 



   All our volunteers are asked whilst volunteering to wear purple uniformed tops, ID badges and refrain from using their mobile phones.  


   Please adhere to all Policies as per the Volunteer Agreement. 

Pets as Therapy (PAT) Dogs

Pets as Therapy & Therapaws are registered charities and the Royal Free Charity’s Volunteer Team has registered and had vetted dogs from them for several years and follow the following protocols. 


The primary aim of Pets As Therapy and Therapaws is to bring regular animal companionship and comfort to patients/residents in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, schools and other establishments by means of visits from volunteers and their registered temperament-tested pets. 


Only those signed up as members can visit establishments that are registered with the charity, like RFC. No other dogs can support patients or staff and all owners undertake our application checks and training process like any other individual who volunteers at the Trust. They are bound by all Trust policies and procedures including infection control.  The Trust Infection Control Policy does cover Pets as Therapy visits. 

All owners have their therapy dogs on a lead at all times to ensure full control of their pet should an emergency situation arise. 


Volunteers wear an identifiable volunteer uniform and also display the correct photographic ID badges as issued by the Charity and also wear Trust Volunteer ID. 

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Mission Statement

Our vision

For everyone served by the Royal Free London to have access to world-leading healthcare, delivered by a thriving workforce and driven by medical research that has a global impact.

Our mission

The Royal Free Charity supports our hospitals, our NHS colleagues, our patients and our researchers.

From small acts of kindness to huge investments in discovery and innovation, everything we do changes lives for the better.

Our extraordinary volunteers enrich the experience of patients and the support they provide to NHS staff is transformational.

We’re there when patients need us, thanks to the services we provide. And the grants that we make help our hospitals to accelerate vital medical research and invest in innovations to help patients and staff.

The Royal Free Charity is fully committed to providing an environment in which volunteers are able to realise their full potential and contribute to the success of the charity regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs. We welcome applications from all volunteers who will be considered solely on their ability to carry out their roles.