Volunteers play an important role in our Trust by providing additional services to our patients and supporting the Trust’s work in a variety of ways.
People volunteer for lots of different reasons. For instance they may be wanting to use their free time in an enjoyable and positive way, to ‘give something back’ to a service which has helped them or someone they know, to share their knowledge and experience, to meet new people or to gain valuable experience for work or further education.
Because most roles will involve contact with vulnerable adults, our volunteers must be able to provide two character references, pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, pass an Occupation Health check (drivers only) and be prepared to undergo relevant training.
For a full list of our current volunteering roles please see the below.
If you are over 18, can commit to at least 6 months with us for at least 3 -5 hours each week, we’d love to hear from you. Please call us for more information/application form on:
West Kent – (01622) 723215 – Stephen Tucker
East Kent - (01227) 812042 – Helen Collins
Friends of Mental health
Friends for Mental Health (East Kent) and the Friends of Mental Health (West Kent and Medway) consist of volunteers who dedicate their time to raise funds. Find out more about the Friends of Mental Health.
Hospital Radio Volunteer
Our hospital in Canterbury is looking for volunteers to help run a radio show for our patients. You will be working across our hospital and the studios at Canterbury Christ Church university.
Your role will be primarily one of a producer – planning programmes, arranging for guests, putting together playlists, creating content, and managing social media input.
You will also have to ensure that the programme complies with Ofcom’s broadcasting laws (training will be given).
And if you feel up to it then maybe you could have a go at being the show presenter as well!
We require owner-drivers to pick up patients and take them to various locations. Journeys can be long or short.
Journeys could be patient only or could include family members or staff, and may include some luggage. You will be transporting people who have a mental health condition and so sensitivity, understanding and patience are essential.
You will be using your own vehicle and will be made petrol costs based on your mileage. You will also have to have an Enhanced DBS check made. Full training and support will be offered.
Develop your green fingers and help maintain our gardens! You will help with pruning, weeding, planting, keeping borders trim, watering, and taking pride in your patch! You will be volunteering in an area with patients who have mental health issues so you must be comfortable in that environment.
Gardening experience would be ideal, as is a caring attitude, ability to listen, and someone who likes a chat. We will have to undertake an Enhanced DBS check. In return we offer full induction, training and support.
Befrienders/ward activity helpers
If you like meeting different people, if you like chatting, if you are a kind and non-judgemental person, if you are good at listening, have patience, are kind and understanding, then you would make an ideal befriender!
A befriender is someone who will regularly visit patients and build a rapport with them, engage in conversation and accompany patients on walks around the hospital grounds. You will be working with patients who have a mental health problem so will need to be understanding and thoughtful. We will have to undertake an enhanced DBS check on all volunteers. In return you will receive a full induction, training, and supporting and support.
Committee members/trustees for our Friends of Mental Health
The Friends of Mental Health is a charity that helps patients and families who have mental health problems – both in hospital and in the community. They need Committee Members who can help govern the group’s activities. This could be fundraising, administrative tasks, finance, and many other activities the Friends take part in.
You must have the ability to work as part of a team, able to engage with a wide range of people, experience of working with people with a mental health problem would be an advantage, and have good communication skills. You will be volunteering in a mental health environment so we will have to conduct an Enhanced DBS check. In return you can expect to be part of a fun and creative team, receive full support, induction and training.
Volunteers who are kind, patient, and comfortable working in a mental health environment are needed to help in our café. You will be helping to support the café manager, preparing snacks and light lunches, drinks, taking orders from customers, and help keep the area clean.
It will be important that you can help create a pleasant atmosphere for staff and customers, you must be a good listener and non-judgemental. You must be able to work as part of a team, it would be beneficial (though not essential) that you have experience working with people with mental health issues, catering experience, or have worked in healthcare before. In return we offer full training and support and a pleasant volunteering environment. Due to the fact that you will be working with vulnerable people an Enhanced DBS check will be made.
The Ward Trolley volunteer will have responsibility for taking the refreshments trolley around the ward selling snacks and goods to staff and patients. You will take the trolley from the stock room, ensuring it is well stocked, and take it around the wards. You will also have responsibility for calculating and handling money.
Since you will be volunteering in a mental health unit you will be accompanied by a member of staff during your rounds. We would ask that you be able to offer a minimum of a six month commitment, know how to treat information confidentially, and have respect for other people. You will also have to have an Enhanced DBS check made. You will receive induction, training, and support. This would be a great opportunity to widen your experience and learn new skills.
If you like meeting new people and having a good chat then this could be the ideal opportunity for you. We need volunteers to go around in small groups onto mental health wards conducting surveys with patients to ensure they are having a positive experience. You will need an understanding and empathy of mental health, a good eye for detail, and not be afraid to ask questions.
You will be working with at least one other volunteer so will not be on your own. We do ask that you are able to commit to regular times and must be able to treat everyone equally and with confidentiality and dignity. Since you will be working with vulnerable people we will have to conduct an Enhanced DBS check. We offer full training and support and you will gain valuable experience working in a mental health ward.
To support the Trust’s chaplains in their work supporting patients and staff both spiritually and pastorally, specifically to help the smooth running of the Big Debate Groups, and potentially other chaplaincy-led groups. You could help to prepare for group meetings, welcome visitors, assist quieter visitors to help find their voice, or help provide guidance and support to patients.
You will need to be confident working with mental health problems, and you also need to have a good grounding within your own faith group. We will have to undertake an Enhanced DBS check and ask for two references, one of which will be from within your faith group.
If music be the food of love…
Music lovers are needed to help on the elderly patient ward with our music groups. Sessions last 60-90 minutes. You will need to be able to play an instrument and enjoy singing! If you have your own instrument (guitar or keyboard) that'd be great but simple percussion instruments are available.
You will work alongside occupational therapy staff and other ward staff to deliver the music therapy sessions to patients. This could involve creating song lists, lyric sheets, and interacting and collaborating with patients in group sessions. You will be working with patients who have a mental health condition so you must be caring, sensitive, and understanding. As such we will have to do an Enhanced DBS check. In return we offer a full induction, training and support. Oh, and a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable volunteering experience!
Therapy group co-facilitator
Based in Maidstone, in this role you will assist staff in running the Group Therapy Sessions. It would be ideal if you have some experience of mental health. You role will include working with staff to identify risks, help service users to maintain appropriate codes of conduct, give time to enable service users to use peer support services. You will need to be a caring and patient person, ideally with some experience of mental health services, and be non-judgemental.
In return you will get experience of working in a mental health environment, will receive a full induction, training and support. Due to the fact that you will be working with vulnerable adults we will have to do an Enhanced DBS check.
Meet and greet
The main role of a Meet & Greet volunteer is to make people welcome and comfortable when they arrive. You could be helping staff, patients, families, or other visitors. Tasks might include keeping information leaflets up to date, responding to queries, offering refreshments, helping with surveys, some administration tasks, and doing whatever it takes to ensure our guests have a positive experience.
You will be working in a mental health environment so you will need to have empathy, able to engage with a wide variety of people, and have a friendly and welcoming manner. We will have to undertake an Enhanced DBS check. You will receive a full induction, training and support.
Group activity helper
If you are looking for a varied and active volunteering role then this would be ideal for you. You could be helping with arts and crafts, or it could be cooking, relaxation classes, or whatever it is that patients are involved in. You will be working with people with mental health issues so you will need to be patient, understanding, and be empathic.
You will also need to be someone comfortable talking and chatting to all kinds of people and be a good listener. It would help if you have some arts and craft experience or have worked or volunteered in a healthcare environment before, but it’s not essential. We will have to do an Enhanced DBS check before you start volunteering. In return you’ll receive full support, training, and induction but, most of all, you’ll be helping to make a difference and having fun doing so.
Contact us and apply
The Volunteer Services Co-ordinators can help you find the right volunteer placement.
If you are over 18, can commit to at least 6 months with us for at least 3 to 5 hours each week, we’d love to hear from you.
Please call us for more information or fill out our online form below:
- Voluntary services manager Helen Collins: 01227 812042
- Voluntary services coordinator Stephen Tucker: 01622 723215