Student volunteer programme

Ward Befriending

We have some interesting opportunities for students in high school, sixth form and college education to gain valuable experience of working life on a variety of our wards and areas in our hospitals. We already have a student outreach programme with the academic partners listed below, but please do get in touch with us midyorks.volunteer@nhs.net if you would like to discuss the opportunities we have for your school/college to get involved. 

  • Wakefield Girls High School
  • Wakefield College
  • Outwood Grange Academy – Wakefield
  • Greenhead Sixth Form College - Huddersfield
  • New College Sixth Form – Pontefract
  • Leeds Trinity University

Our student volunteer placement programme is an excellent opportunity for students to regularly volunteer on our busy wards as part of our Ward Befriender Scheme, which was launched in August 2016.

Our befrienders are trained volunteers who, alongside the staff on the ward, visit patients who may be feeling lonely, isolated and vulnerable due to a long admission or not receiving visits from friends and family. The role of the befriender helps to enhance and enrich our patient care by spending time with the patient improving the patient’s emotional health and well-being either through conversation, activities such as playing card games, reading and listening to the patient. 

The ward befrienders can help patients in expressing any worries or concerns that they may have advising the patient who is the best person to speak to. Ward befriending duties also include serving hot and cold drinks on the ward and assisting with meal times. They help to improve our patient care through encouraging patients, visitors and family to complete our patient/carer friend feedback questionnaire, designed to provide feedback on our patient experience. 

There is a ward befriender role profile here on the website please do have a look at the full range of duties and training that our volunteer ward befrienders receive. Students are committed to one four hour shift per week over a period of minimum six months. This ensures that students become a valuable member of the ward team, giving them a rewarding and fulfilling volunteer experience.

We have enabled 86 students to be placed through our academic recruitment programme for 2017/18 some of whom are already working on our elderly care wards, trauma and orthopaedic ward whilst others are soon to be placed on our medical/stroke rehabilitation wards and respiratory. 

The process for your school/college to engage with us is as follows:

  1.  Ward befriending presentation – takes place in school to Year 12.  Interested students then complete the academic application form. 
  2. Informal interview and recruitment –  MidYorks NHS Trust facts and figures presentation – application documentation (DBS, OH and ID badge)
  3. Ward befriending placement – placement on the wards, issue of uniform, rota allocation and training.

Click here to see a flowchart of the process.