Our Values: Compassionate | Aspirational | Resourceful | Excellent


Two words - THANK YOU.

The Trust has an amazing team of volunteers who enhance the services and support provided to our patients and visitors. The Trust really values the incredible gift of time that our volunteers give in so many different capacities across the hospital. If you would like to give some of your time to volunteering with us, please get in touch.

get involved volunteer buggy

The Voluntary Services Department's main function is to ensure that the time and skills offered by volunteers are used in the most effective ways to enhance and complement the care given by paid staff to patients and visitors to the Trust, as well as ensuring the volunteers get a rewarding experience and feel valued for what they do.

Potential volunteers should be over 17 years of age and willing to commit to a minimum of 2 hours per week for a minimum of 12 months.

All volunteers are required to complete a Police Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) form and to satisfy the Trust’s personal identification and right-to-work checks along with a health check. This is necessary for everyone who works in this Trust.

The list of roles below is not exhaustive and we are always working with Trust staff and patients to identify new valuable roles for our volunteers but the main roles are:


Ward helpers - (minimum time commitment three hours per week) Tasks vary depending on the ward and types of patients but activities include assisting with practical tasks such as helping patients to fill in menu forms, helping to make beds, chatting to patients, and administrative tasks.

Mealtime Assistants – (minimum time commitment two hours per week) Helping feed patients at meal times. You will need to go on an additional training course for this.

Welcomers and meeters and greeters - (minimum time commitment three hours per week) Working in main reception areas, including the Berkshire Cancer Centre, and helping patients and other visitors to the Trust find their way around, either by directing or escorting them to their destination, and helping them feel more relaxed.

Welcomers clinical areas - (minimum time commitment three hours per week) Working in the clinics assisting with reception duties.

Hospital buggy service - (minimum time commitment four hours per week) Transporting patients within the Royal Berkshire Hospital in golf type buggies. They operate on level 2 of the hospital but the drivers will take you to the nearest lift/stairs should you need to access a ward or department on another floor. The main pick-up is main reception on level 2.

Berkshire Cancer Centre – (minimum time commitment two hours per week depending on the role) Helping within the department as welcomers, as well as within the Macmillan information centre, as well as helping with the running of some groups and workshops.

Survey Team - (minimum time commitment two hours per week). Carrying out ongoing surveys with patients and carers on behalf of the Trust throughout the year.

Patient Leaders – (minimum commitment following the programme is 2 years) Working closely with the Trust to engage patients, their carers and families in the ongoing work of the Trust and its strategic direction. Patient Leaders get additional training to fulfill the role. More information can be found here.

Hospital radio – (minimum commitment two hours per week) Running the radio service for the hospital including visiting wards to get requests then delivering live shows in the evenings.

Chapel escorts - (minimum time commitment two hours per week) Collecting patients from wards to attend Sunday morning chapel services.

PAT dog scheme - (minimum time commitment three hours per week) (pets as therapy) Bringing dogs that are specially vetted and registered through this scheme to visit on elderly care wards.

Medical Museum Running the museum for the benefit of the public. The museum is open on the first and third Sunday every month.

Royal Berkshire Charity (minimum time commitment two hours per week) Helping support the work of the Trust Charity, for example, administrative work in the office or promoting and organising fundraising activities.

Wheelchair collector (minimum time commitment two hours per week) Collecting wheelchairs from around the hospital and returning them to collection points so they can be used by patients and visitors. This is a new role we are creating.

Toy cleaners (minimum time commitment two hours per week) Cleaning toys in children’s areas each afternoon / evening so they can be used by children the following day. This is a new role we are creating.

Pack collators (minimum time commitment two hours per week) We have several areas which require packs putting together for distribution to patients / carers. Some of these need periodic support in putting batches together, others need it regularly undertaking. For the discharge patient packs and the dementia packs this is an ongoing activity.

Wardrobe manager for our Dress for Dignity campaign (minimum time commitment two hours per week)

We are creating a Dress for Dignity room of the back of our campaign to provide a room where patients can come and chose some clean donated clothes if they have not got anything with them or family able to collect things for them. We need someone to organise the clothes and keep things tidy. This is a new role we are creating.

We also work closely with the League of Friends who provide shops, cafes and confectionary trolleys in the hospital. If you are interested in volunteering with them, please see their website.

In addition to our regular volunteering activities, we are also starting to work with companies and other voluntary organisations on one off or different programmes and projects around the hospital, for example, painting, gardening, clearing etc. If you are interested in working with us on this or have some specific skills / expertise you want to offer, please get in touch on voluntaryservices@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

We also regularly receive donations of items which are used throughout the hospital, for example, knitted blankets and twiddle muffs for dementia patients, courtesy packs with soaps, tooth brushes etc for those who were not expecting to come into hospital, books, children’s activity packs etc. If you would like to donate anything, please contact voluntary.services@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

If you are interested in applying for any of the above positions please visit our careers and vacancies page and click on the relevant role to apply online.

Useful contacts

Voluntary Services Department
Royal Berkshire
NHS Foundation Trust
Level 2 Main Entrance
London Road
Reading RG1 5AN

0118 322 7061

email us


    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
    Email us
    Tel: 0118 322 5111