Supporting us as a volunteer

Volunteers play a vital role in the wellbeing of patients at St Andrew's.  Volunteers can get involved in many different ways, including:

• Befrienders: paying regular visits to patients who may not often see friends or family 
• Pets As Therapy handlers (see below)
• General activities: supporting our teams in delivering workshops or outings with patients
• P
sychology volunteers: for graduates with a minimum 2:1 that are seeking work experience as part of their studies.

Our Voluntary Services team welcomes, encourages and supports volunteers, managing volunteer recruitment, training, placement and support.


Who can be a volunteer

To be a staff or community volunteer you must:
• be at least 18 years old
• be able to commit to volunteer for a minimum of six months (12 months for befriending)
• be resident in Great Britain for the previous six months
• take part in a recruitment process involving an interview, references, enhanced DBS check and 2 days' Induction Training.

To find out more about all types of volunteering at St Andrew's, please contact us.


Pets as therapy

Our Pets as Therapy volunteers in Northampton do fantastic work within the Charity, bringing their dogs into the wards on a regular basis so that patients get the opportunity to meet and make a fuss of them, or even go out for walks within the grounds.

We get many more requests for this service than we can fulfil, so if you’ve got time to spare, once a week or a fortnight, and have a dog with a calm, placid nature, then please contact Voluntary Services for more information about becoming a Pets as Therapy volunteer.

You need to have owned the dog for longer than 6 months and it should be fully inoculated.

Becoming a volunteer

Becoming a volunteer can be very rewarding and our volunteers really do make a difference to our patients' recovery. 

Here are a few frequently asked questions about volunteering, with responses from our volunteering manager: 

What sort of volunteering roles can I get involved with at St Andrew’s?

We have so many different opportunities here but the roles fall into five categories.  We have Befrienders, Pets As Therapy Handlers and their dogs, Volunteer Assistant Psychologists, General Activities and Recovery Volunteers (our own patients).

What skills do I need to become a volunteer?

Nothing specific apart from a bit of time on a regular basis, and the ability to commit to a minimum of 6 months volunteering.  

If the volunteer is a befriender (spending one to one time with one patient) we ask for a minimum of 12 months' commitment.

How do I apply to become a volunteer?

The process involves an interview, DBS check, two references, Induction Training followed by a department induction with us – and then an introduction to the area you are to volunteer in.

For our Recovery Volunteers, we make an appointment to meet with them, interview and register them with the scheme and we then identify a role for them within the hospital.

Current staff only need to register with us and have a department induction when placed.

What are the benefits of becoming a volunteer?

Volunteering is a very personal thing and people do it for many different reasons. Generally speaking, our volunteers tell us they gain experience, confidence and self esteem.

Our clinical staff benefit from volunteers by having an extra pair of hands, or someone with skills to assist in running a group. Our befriending volunteers are able to spend quality one to one time with patients - something that can make a huge difference to their time at St Andrew’s.

Our patients tell me that the volunteers who go onto the wards bring a fresh face, real world contact and, of course, because they are not paid to come they do it because they want to. It means a lot to our patients - they really value volunteers!