We are no longer able to accept applications to the young volunteers programme as we are at capacity.
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Our young volunteers gain valuable experience in a hospital environment, while developing interpersonal skills and confidence in the workplace. They also interact and connect with people in the wider community during the course of their placements.

Many of our volunteers are keen to pursue careers in the healthcare sector, while others want to give back to their local hospital. Whatever the reason, all participants will gain access to training and development opportunities provided by the Royal Free London and the charity.


We offer a selection of defined roles for younger people across our sites – below are some examples.

All our roles are carefully risk-assessed and a comprehensive induction is provided before any volunteer begins their placement. Each will receive supervision from our young volunteer coordinator who will be their main point of contact in the charity while they are volunteering.

Ward helper

Our helpful volunteers provide companionship to patients who may be distressed, in pain or lonely. Through kindness and friendship, volunteers engage patients with conversation over a cup of tea or an activity they think of together. Small touches such as collecting a newspaper for someone or finding them a phone charger can make a huge difference.

Dementia companion

The hospital experience can be particularly difficult to adjust to for a person with dementia and sadly they can deteriorate quickly during their stay. Volunteer dementia companions provide companionship with specialist tools, games, and friendship. Having an activity to focus on for periods of time during their long hospital journeys can make a difference to how a patient feels and reacts to their ward environment. Volunteers are provided with dementia training before starting this role.

Mealtime support

Mealtimes are a busy time on the wards. Volunteers support the hospital staff to serve the patients with the meals they have requested in a timely fashion with a friendly smile. An extra pair of hands means more time can be spent serving each patient. For some, eating alone is an unusual experience so volunteers also stay and chat to anyone who enjoys company while they eat.

Meet and greet volunteer

Meet and greet volunteers help lost, confused and anxious patients and visitors find their destination in the hospital. The role involves talking and listening to patients and essentially striving to provide a well-rounded service to all patients and visitors.

Contact us

If you have any queries about this or any of our other volunteering programmes, then please contact our volunteer team: [email protected].