Why King's needs your help

King’s Volunteering Programme

woman showing man help point

The innovative volunteering programme at King’s has been made possible thanks to donations. We’ve been able to train and support 1,500 volunteers at the hospital.

How do volunteers make a difference?

King’s has recognised the potential for volunteers to support busy staff and make a real difference to a patient’s experience of being in hospital.

Volunteers carry out simple acts of kindness and compassion, like popping to the shop to buy a newspaper, helping with activities like games and singing on elderly wards, or just being there when patients need someone to talk to. They can also help out in the Friends of King’s gift shops, or volunteer as a hospital guide helping patients and staff find their way around the hospital. And the positive work of volunteers extends beyond King’s: volunteers also help patients settle in at home and care for themselves after their stay in the hospital.

King’s is committed to ensuring the continued success of the programme and has been measuring the difference volunteers are making to patients. There has already been a significant boost in patients’ satisfaction on wards where volunteers play an active role.

The experience of being a volunteer

Donations from people like you ensure that King’s College Hospital’s volunteers take part in a thorough training programme and receive high-quality, day-to-day support. This means that patients have the best possible experience and volunteers feel and are seen as part of the team.

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs volunteers on the neonatal intensive care unit, where she had a baby herself in 2003.

‘It’s great to be able to apply my own experiences to support other parents,’ she says. ‘I also enjoy interacting with the babies, supporting the developmental team by playing, singing and talking to them and encouraging parents to take an active part in their baby's care.

Being a volunteer is a great way of using your own experiences to help others and to gain insight into the clinical environment. I think it helps support staff, who are often very stretched, and patients and their relatives to have non-clinical people around who they can talk to.’

Find out how you can become a volunteer at King's College Hospital.

From Hospital to Home

For many patients, being discharged from hospital and returning home is a stressful time. King’s Hospital to Home service is a pioneering initiative designed to support them through the transition and settle back into to their everyday lives.

The new service gives patients one-to-one support through the discharge process and beyond, to help them settle back in to life at home. Since the service was set up in December 2013, it has already helped 20 individual patients to make the transition.

‘Hospital is a secure place,’ says Katherine Joel, King’s Head of Volunteering. ‘There’s lots of support, and there’s always someone to care for you. Going back home can be very difficult for all patients, not just the elderly and vulnerable.’

Volunteers for the service – which this year is being funded by donations – will stay with patients on the day of discharge, accompany them home and then visit for up to a month afterwards.

‘We make sure the heating and lights are on, and that there’s milk in the fridge,’ says volunteer-turned-project leader Amber Peters.

‘But we can also help with things like unpaid bills. We’ve even helped people sort out housing issues, and we’ll signpost them to the relevant services so they can carry on getting support. It’s all about bridging the gap so they can get back into the community and start living their lives again.’

People like you make this happen

The extra care and support that volunteers provide enables King’s to go above and beyond what’s expected and ensure the best possible patient experience. We couldn’t run initiatives like this without your help. Please, donate today and help us make King’s College Hospital the best it can be.