Nhs_choices Bthft Bradford Teaching HospitalsNHS Foundation Trust NHS Choices
  • Text Size

  • Language


Voluntary Services

Voluntary Services

Bradford Teaching Hospitals (BTH) has an active volunteering community which continues to grow significantly. There are currently well over 500 people who give their time freely to help patients, staff and visitors at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital. On average, each volunteer donates

4 hours of their time each week - a total of 96,000 hours each year!

Volunteers provide an invaluable service through a variety of support services and activities. They make a huge difference to the care that our patients receive and the experience they may have, whilst in hospital. At BTH we welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.

These web pages are intended to tell you all there is to know about volunteering at BTH, what opportunities are available and how to apply.

Why volunteer?

  • To meet new people and make new friends
  • To keep busy and do something rewarding and useful
  • To give something back
  • To help with recovery after illness or bereavement
  • To learn new skills
  • To gain experience in healthcare
  • To take a first step towards preparation for employment
  • To help gain entry into university or college
  • To have lots of fun!

Who can apply to be a volunteer?

People aged 17 and over can apply to become a volunteer. There is no upper age limit. At BTH, we welcome people with disabilities and those from all cultures and backgrounds. All that we ask is that you are fit and well enough to undertake the volunteer role of your choice and that you have a genuine interest in helping others.

What can volunteers do?

Click here for information What can volunteers do?

Volunteering for people aged 25 years and over

People aged 25 years and over tend to be the volunteers who stay with us on a long term basis (i.e. for over 12 months). Mature volunteers are the foundation upon which we have built our Voluntary Service and they derive from a diverse community, bringing a wealth of knowledge and skills along with them. Our volunteers provide an integral service, which supports and enhances the delivery of patient care across the Foundation Trust. Volunteers in this age group, may apply for any of the volunteer roles available, providing they are fit and well enough to undertake the role they have chosen.

At BTH, we believe in recognising and rewarding hard work and dedication. We hold an annual Volunteer Thank-you buffet lunch, when awards are presented to volunteers for their Long Service. We also invite staff, patients, visitors and other volunteers to nominate a deserving volunteer for the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ of the year award. There are prizes for first, second and third places.

Volunteering for Students and other young people under 25 years old


All 17 to 24 year olds are welcome to apply to become a volunteer at BTH. Most young people apply to become a volunteer because they have an interest in working within healthcare. This may include considering going into medicine, nursing, physiotherapy or within one of the many non-clinical support roles such as porters or catering assistants.

Whilst, it is not possible to volunteer in all of these areas, our Patient Support Scheme will provide a good introduction for what it might be like to work in a hospital setting, and volunteers will be able to relate much of their volunteer experience to their chosen career. Other volunteer roles that will be beneficial to students and other young people under 25 years include Hospital Radio (particularly if the interest is in media). Volunteering within the Guiding Services is also a good way to improve the knowledge of hospital and NHS services and to build upon communication skills.

We ask our young volunteers to commit themselves to volunteer with us for a minimum of six months. We provide the necessary training and support and view our young volunteers as the workforce of the future. Usual practice involves coming in to volunteer once a week for 2-3 hours, on the same day and at the same time each week. The day and time is decided mutually and will be dependent on when the volunteer is free and where the vacancies are.

There are two intakes each year for our students and other young volunteers. Recruitment begins three to four months prior to starting volunteer placements, as the screening system and training is completed in advance. Each year, we recruit in June with a view to starting volunteer placements in November and recruit again in January, with a view to starting volunteer placements in June.

Once you have completed a placement, references may be provided on request, including a record of attendance and a description of the volunteer role that has been undertaken.

BTH has a 50 hours award, which is warded to those volunteers who complete 50 hours or more during their placement as a volunteer. 

Hospital Volunteers

Bradford Teaching Hospitals has an active volunteering community that continues to grow significantly. Our volunteers give their time freely and offer a tremendous contribution in support of patients and staff at St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) and at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI). We are working towards extending the service to provide volunteers at our Community Hospitals. The following groups make up the Volunteer Forum Group: 
  • Annette Fox Leukaemia Research Fund
  • Bradford Heart Support Group
  • Bradford Cancer Support Group
  • Cancer Information Centre
  • Chaplaincy Team
  • The Ear Trust
  • The Elizabeth Foundation
  • The Friends of the BRI
  • Radio Royal
  • The Friends of SLH
St Luke’s Sound Radio The Friends of SLH and the Friends of BRI are the two largest volunteer groups. They provide practical support and raise funds to improve patient care. There are also many other volunteer/charity groups which are linked with the Foundation Trust. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, if you would like to make a donation, or to find out more about any of the volunteer/ charity groups working with the Foundation Trust,