4 November 2022

There will be more volunteering opportunities for young people at the Trust which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals thanks to a recent funding boost.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has been awarded a grant worth over £86,000 from the new Volunteering Futures Fund – part of NHS Charities Together, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Fund has been announced to help people from under-represented groups, including those facing socio-economic disadvantages, people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and those with disabilities, to overcome barriers and get involved in volunteering.

SaTH will use the funds to extend its young volunteer scheme for 16-18 year olds; this includes a 15-month programme which will focus on, although not entirely, recruiting younger volunteers from underrepresented communities across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Powys.

As part of this, SaTH wants to engage with schools, colleges, charities, community groups and individuals for suggestions on how it can create a range of accessible volunteering opportunities for young people, which will support them in their aspirations, whilst also improving patient experience.

Poppy Horrocks, Lead for the Volunteering Futures Fund Project at SaTH, said: “We are encouraging people who have an interest in healthcare to get in touch and have a chat with us about how we can support their future goals.

“Volunteering is a great way to explore careers and enhance CVs, but it is also an excellent way to build confidence whilst meeting new people and making a positive difference.

“I am always incredibly proud when I see our volunteers develop from being incredibly shy and nervous, to being confident and competent in just a matter of weeks.”

Julia Clarke, Director of Public Participation at SaTH, said: “Our volunteering opportunities span over 30 different roles, in both clinical and non-clinical areas. Volunteers make an enormous difference in our hospitals and allow us to go that bit further for our patients.”

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “As the national, independent charity caring for the NHS, we were delighted to work with our partners to roll out the Volunteering Futures Fund.

“As part of our commitment to tackle community inequalities, we believe the Volunteering Futures Fund will provide important, life-changing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds who are currently facing barriers to volunteering. We’re excited to see the difference it can make to those living in Shropshire and all around the UK.”

For more information about the project, or the volunteering opportunities available at SaTH, please contact sath.volunteers@nhs.net or visit www.sath.nhs.uk/working-with-us/volunteering/


Case Studies

Nimisha Venkatesh, Volunteer

I joined SaTH as a volunteer as it was the best opportunity for me to give back to my community through the NHS after it has done so much for me and my community. This also enables me to interact with patients from all walks of life and try to make a difference.

Going forwards, I would love to work in the NHS. I feel that this experience, so far, has been a good insight into the “behind the scenes” of the NHS and has, in fact, furthered my desire to help people. I feel that I have developed several skills here, including my communication skills and time management, which will no doubt help me to help people in the future.

I always greet every patient with a smile, ensuring that they have what they need whilst they are waiting for further treatment or to be discharged. My aim is to help them feel as comfortable as they can in this hospital environment which can be quite daunting. Whether it is just offering them a cup of tea or sitting with them for comfort, I try my best to make them feel at ease.


Adam Caldwell, Volunteer

When COVID-19 suspended work experience programmes, I still wanted to get involved at the hospital. I spoke with like-minded students at my college and they mentioned volunteering, so I did a bit of extra research into it and applied.

I hope that the experiences I encounter while volunteering will help me to become a good doctor in the future. It will also help refine my communication and teamwork skills within a multi-disciplinary team.

Whilst most of my time is spent making teas and coffees and transporting patients between wards, as a volunteer I am also there as someone for patients to speak to at their most vulnerable time.