Voluntary Services, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Come and join us!

Volunteering for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust gives the opportunity to share your skills, knowledge and time with our patients. Volunteers are a very valued part of our team and the difference they make to both staff and patients is enormous.

We have a wide variety of roles to suit all ages and are always on the lookout for new volunteers to join our friendly team. You may be just the right person for us and we may have just the right volunteer role for you.

If you are aged 16-19 or a university/post graduate student please follow this link to apply through our student programme



On receipt of your application we will arrange for you to come along to talk about the options further. At this point we will take up your references.

If successful after interview, you will be required to complete a DBS check and undergo health screening, which will all be online.

Once this is all complete, you will receive access to our e- Learning modules, which require completing before starting.

The whole process can take on average 2-3 months from submitting application to starting in role.


For your guidance, we ask for a regular commitment for a minimum of 6 months, 3-4 hours per week or sessions as part of a rota is usual.

See the range of opportunities we are currently recruiting for below. These roles are regularly reviewed and updated so if you don't see anything that interests you today please do check back again later.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care


Volunteers assist our Chaplains to provide a Chaplaincy for everyone – regardless of faith or belief, and undertake a variety of roles in the department.

Roles include supporting Chaplaincy staff, visiting patients on the wards, welcoming visitors to the Chapel and being a listening ear to staff

Discharge Waiting Area

The main function of volunteers in this area is to support the discharge team by providing companionship to patients whilst they are waiting to leave hospital in the discharge waiting area. Volunteers assist staff with collecting patients from wards to support patient flow.

Current Availability Tuesday, Wednesday Friday mornings and afternoons.

Emergency Department

Volunteers will offer help and support to patients and relatives attending the Emergency Department making their time as comfortable and stress free as possible. This is a busy, active role where volunteers will help the flow of the department

Current availability Monday morning, Saturday afternoon. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday early evenings.


End of Life Ward Companion


End of life ward companion volunteers offer company, compassionate listening and comfort to patients who are near the end of their lives.

They spend time with patients identified by nursing staff, to help improve the patient and their relative(s) experience and to support the staff in the provision of compassionate care.

This role requires specialist training once recruited which is delivered by the Palliative Care team.

Current availability for this role is weekends.


Volunteers welcome and spend time with patients, and generally assist with the smooth running of the unit by undertaking tasks under the direction of nursing staff Volunteers will be able to provide company for those patients on their own, giving out drinks under the direction of staff and maintaining a tidy ward environment.

Current availability for this role is on a Tuesday or  Wednesday afternoon or a Friday afternoon.


Eye Treatment Centre Hand Holder

Volunteers will provide non clinical comfort and support to patients prior to, during and following cataract surgery performed under local anaesthetic. At the patients request volunteers will accompany them into theatre , sitting and holding a patients hand during the procedure, offering reassurance and support. Volunteers will relay any signals of anxiety and tension to the Theatre nurse by squeezing of hands rather than verbal communication. Volunteers can make patients a drink after surgery.

Volunteers required Monday afternoons, Tuesday mornings, Wednesday all day and Friday mornings 

Friends of the West Suffolk Hospital Shop

The Friends of West Suffolk Hospital support the hospital through fundraising. The Friends Shop provides shopping facilities in the main entrance of West Suffolk Hospital, proceeds from which are 'gifted' back to our hospital. A ward trolley service for patients to purchase items is also provided.  

Current availability for this role is Monday - Sunday 8.30am - 1pm, 1pm - 4.30pm & 4.30pm - 8pm

Gardener for Sudbury Gardening group

A Volunteer will support a therapeutic gardening group based at the Sudbury Health Centre for local patients of the community services.

The volunteer will support and encourage attendees to participate in any way they can. The volunteer will be able to teach participants new skills with the support of the Occupational Therapists.

A volunteer is required every Wednesday 9.30 - 11.30am  

Glastonbury Court

Volunteers support West Suffolk Hospital staff and patients at Glastonbury Court, by  interacting with patients and encouraging patients to spend time in the lounge engaging in activities.

Current availability for this role is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons 

Information Desk

Coming into hospital can be daunting and this key volunteer role on the Information Desk provides a friendly welcome, information and escort service to patients and visitors arriving at the hospital who require assistance.

The desk is manned on a rota basis from Monday - Friday. Sessions are 9am - 1pm, 1pm - 4.30pm and 4.30pm - 7pm. We are currently looking for relief volunteers to cover sessions as and when required, working alongside another volunteer.

This is the perfect role if you like to be busy and enjoy helping people.

Macmillan Day Unit


To generally assist with the smooth running of the unit by undertaking non-nursing duties under the direction of nursing staff .Tasks include talking to patients, making drinks and giving out snacks for patients under the direction of staff. 

Current availability for this role is a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon and a Friday morning.


Newmarket Community Hospital

This is an important role for volunteers who spend time with patients on Rosemary Ward talking, listening, tidying and providing non-nursing help and support to staff. Volunteers also assist with giving out meals, opening any food packaging, cutting food into manageable pieces and ensuring patients can access their food. 

We have availability for this role on a variety of days and times.

Patient Companion Volunteer

Volunteers will spend time with identified patients that would benefit from some company visiting a variety of wards.

Volunteers will be able to engage in reading with patients, doing crosswords and chatting

Volunteers are required Monday and Friday 2pm - 4pm

Patient Flow Volunteer

New Role

The main purpose of this role is to support patient flow to create bed capacity when urgently needed.

The role will be volunteering alongside the site manager who will be identifying patients who are due for discharge. Volunteers will support with packing a patient's belongings and taking the patient where necessary then getting the bed prepared ready for the next patient to be admitted.  This will be an extremely active and rewarding role.

Volunteers required  Tuesday mornings 10am - 2pm and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons 2pm - 6pm.

Patient Profile Volunteer

Volunteers will assist with the completion of Patient Profile forms to ensure the holistic care of patients in hospital. The Patient Profile form will allow staff to get to know their patients on an individual level allowing for a better relationship between patients and Healthcare providers.

Volunteers will conduct face to face discussions with patients to find out about their life and provide a listening ear. 

Volunteers required daily either for a morning or an afternoon.

Rainbow Children's Ward

Volunteers support paediatric clinical staff and the health play specialist.  They engage children in purposeful activities and provide non-nursing support to staff.

Current availability everyday mornings, afternoons and early evenings. This opportunity is only available to Adult volunteers at present.

Therapy Volunteers

Volunteers will support our Therapy team to interact with patients that have had a stroke and undertaking rehabilitation to help them reach their goals prior to leaving hospital. This will be a hugely rewarding role for volunteers.

Current Availability Monday to Friday 9am - 12.30pm

Theatre Bed Wait

Volunteers will be able to talk to patients and reduce anxiety prior to going into theatre for surgery in the bed wait area and in the recovery area post surgery. Volunteers will be required to wear appropriate PPE.

Currently availability Monday, Tuesday and Friday 8am - 1pm


This is an important role for volunteers who spend time with patients on our wards talking, listening, tidying, shopping and providing non-nursing help and support to staff. Volunteers also assist with giving out meals, opening any food packaging, cutting food into manageable pieces and ensuring patients can access their food. This role is also available on our Maternity Ward.

We have availability for this role on a variety of days and times