Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust




At Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) we have a team of dedicated volunteers who support us at our sites:


  • Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro 
  • St Michael’s Hospital, Hayle  
  • Marie Therese House, Hayle  
  • West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance 



Our volunteers are part of the team and complement the work of our paid staff to enhance the experience of patients, carers, visitors and staff. They have a huge impact on our patient services, supporting staff by doing the little things that make a difference. 


What’s in it for you? 


As well as the difference they make to others, our volunteers often comment on the positive impact being a volunteer has made on their lives. It has helped them to meet new friends, improve their self-confidence and motivation, whilst keeping them active and feeling that they have a valuable contribution to make that is greatly appreciated. 


Our volunteers come from all walks of life, a variety of different cultures, ethnicities and communities aged between 16 and 95. 


Interested in joining us? 


Start off by taking a look below at our volunteer roles, to figure out what type of volunteering you feel would suit you best. Then head to the top right of this page to fill in an application form to start the recruitment process. 


We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, aged 16 and over, who are friendly, and enthusiastic. In return, we provide a wide range of exciting opportunities to meet others, learn new skills and, most importantly, to make a difference to the lives of our staff and patients. 


Do you have what it takes to be a Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust volunteer and make a difference to Patients? 

I would like to volunteer

Fill in an application

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Examples of Volunteer Opportunities

Administrative and clerical support

Behind the scenes of our busy hospital are many important volunteers supporting staff teams each day with a variety of basic, but often time-consuming, administrative tasks. There are administrative roles in many different teams across the Trust and volunteers can help with a range of tasks including filing documents, preparing patient information packs, photocopying, and envelope filling

Butterfly Volunteers

We are proud to be working in partnership with the Anne Robson charity to create a Butterfly Volunteer Service. The charity enables hospitals to set up and run teams of Butterfly Volunteers to provide bedside companionship to patients on the ward in their final days and hours, and emotional support to the patients’ visitors. The work these volunteers do is vital in supporting people facing the end of their life and those around them. There is an additional interview and training process involved with this role

The Anne Robson Trust also runs a telephone support service. If you or someone close to you is dying, you can call on 0808 801 0688 and leave a message and they will reply on the same, or by the next working day. All UK calls are free and confidential.

Visit the Anne Robson Website  for more details about the charity.

Coffee Bar Volunteers (Truro-Treliske Site)

The Friends Coffee Bar on the Treliske site is entirely volunteer run and always looking for volunteers to support this popular café. The Macmillan Support Unit -The Cove also have a volunteer operated coffee shop. Let your inner barista out and support these fantastic fundraising volunteer teams. 


Keeping the gardens and grounds weed-free and tidy across either Royal Cornwall Hospital or St Michael Hospital sites.

Patient Experience Volunteers

We are always looking for feedback from patients to better understand their experiences and to implement improvement throughout the whole of the organisation. Volunteers support this by conducting surveys with our patients. Volunteers are ideal for this task because they are independent, impartial and not linked to the patients’ care so the hope is that patients feel able to provide more honest feedback. Volunteers use iPads and visit wards, spending time talking to our patients about their experience.

Patient Refreshment Services

Tea, biscuits and a friendly face provide patients with normality in sometimes challenging circumstances. This is a fulfilling and practical volunteer role providing refreshments in a wide variety of departments .

Supporting our wards and Emergency Deparment

Our busy ward and Emergency Department (ED) environments are a hive of activity and can be stressful and anxiety-inducing areas for patients. It can be particularly confusing for elderly and frail patients, especially if they have some cognitive impairment or mobility difficulties. Volunteers are able to assist in so many ways, both improving the experience of our patients and helping to alleviate some of the strain on our busy ward staff teams. Our  Meaningful Activities Volunteers help with activities, from jigsaws to air hockey, plus  offering companionship to patients,  and can help at mealtimes.

Patient Leader Programme

RCHT aims to create a patient pool consisting of patients, relatives, carers, and service users of RCHT acute services to complement the existing Cornwall Foundation Trust Patient Leader programme; establishing trained “expert” patients by their own lived experience for a wide range of healthcare services within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

By listening, engaging, and enabling our services users to participate in all appropriate projects, we will ensure that as a Trust we are listening to what matters to you and keep patient care at the centre of our work. Co-producing elements of our services ensures that any changes made are meaningful to both patients and staff.

The Patient and Family Experience team aim to create a 2-tier patient leader programme to increase patient involvement (where appropriate) through forum discussions, surveys, improvement projects and recruitment.

The Patient Experience Team launched their first cohort in 2023 and will aim to launch a further cohort in 2024. If you would like to be involved, please send your details to with your name, contact details and why you would like to be involved. We will then get in touch as soon as we are able to launch the programme.

RCHT Values

Logo: Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust with seventy fifth anniversary mark                   Graphic: Outstanding Care for One + All