Hiyos Helper – NHS volunteering

NHS Volunteering Programme

Have you thought of nhs volunteering opportunities? We share our experience and share the benefits for patients, volunteers and staff.   We are an NHS practice and offered a volunteering programme for patients to help other patients. This initially started for our own patients but has now expanded to anyone who wants to volunteer. There are lots of benefits to volunteering. It gives you a chance to promote your well-being, by helping others. It gives you a sense of purpose and improves your mental health. Designed for students, those considering a career change those who simply want to volunteer.

Why volunteer for NHS?

Learn new skills and share the ones you have – with people who need them. Connect – with other patients and healthcare professionals. Right now – either in person or online.

Why are we doing them?

Research shows that one of the biggest factors for poor health is the opportunity for work. We want to give a flavour of what working in the NHS is like.

Creating employment for all

Together with NHS partners in NW London, Hiyos is offering a work experience and a nhs volunteering programme for those who are interested in working in the NHS. It’s an the opportunity to meet clinicians and administrators and hear their experiences and personal stories, work on projects together, and get a broad and full understanding of how the NHS works and all the different roles within it. As a part of this we are also offering a volunteering programme.

Why are we running NHS volunteer?

This is part of NHS Northwest London project to reduce health inequalities. Employment is a major factor for poor health outcomes.

Research shows for every 10% increase in employment, healthy life expectancy increases by 5 years. 

Marmot Review 10 years On – Institute of Health Equity

The NHS is the largest employer in England with around 1.6m people, but it’s not just doctors and nurses. About half are non-clinical roles. From paramedics to porters, ENT consultants to estates management. There’s plenty to choose from.

The NHS is a fab place to work! Working with talented staff and providing outstanding care for patients, you can volunteer for a NHS workforce with good career progression and training opportunities.  The promotion of diversity and equality is at the heart of the NHS workforce.

436,000 people volunteered for NHS first responder programme. Volunteering gives new insights, skills and experience.


High demand for workers with correct skill mix. Plenty of training opportunities.


Opportunities for clinicians and non-clinicians to be involved in digital health projects which are transforming healthcare.


Who is our NHS volunteer programme for?

Our programme is for anyone interested in learning more about career opportunities in the NHS and healthcare generally. 


University applications require your to have work experience. You are often left to arrange your own work experience which can be difficult to find and be of variable quality.

Changing Career / Looking for work

We’ll share how the NHS works and what’s available. We can share ideas on mapping transferable skills. The programme will give you insights to help identify the type of work to apply for and how to get your ideal job. 

NHS Volunteering

Volunteering is a chance to give something back to your community, whilst building your skills and having new experiences. We’ll work with you to identify what you want to get out of your role and find the right places to look. 

Welcome to all…

We’d welcome applicants from all walks of life and we’ll group those with shared interests. We are particularly keen to receive applications from those with those who are struggling to get work experiences such as those from ethnic minority backgrounds and those with disabilities. The only requirement is to be aged 16 or over.

We want to give an opportunity to all. 


Project What the volunteers did
Digital inclusionMore and more things are being made available online. We trained our NHS volunteers to help patients to get online and help with any ongoing issues they had.
Innovation LabsThe practice works on projects in its innovation labs. These look at data and test new ways of delivering care. NHS Volunteers helped to share their insights, and get feedback from other patients. They also helped to deliver projects, which included collaboration with schools and delivering webinars.
COVID vaccination clinics
NHS Volunteers were involved in marshalling, checking patient IDs, assisting patients with filling forms and cleaning the chairs in between. Typically a volunteer would sign-up to do a 7-8h day. Opportunities were advertised in the existing WhatsApp group and slots were filled easily. Staff also ensured that patients were treated as part of the team, participating in staff meetings at the beginning and end of each day. 

“I really enjoyed the contact, handling people and older people in particular – making them safe and bringing them to the right place” 

Hiyos Helper


Top Tips

So what have we learnt from our experience? We thought we’d share out insights here for NHS volunteering for other NHS organisations, who may be considering this.

Thanks to an independent evaluation from Imperial healthcare partners, here are our top tips for nhs volunteering for NHS organisation. We’ve outlined these in the same way as we have for our top tips for diet and exercise. They are divided into where you are in thinking about making a start on setting up a volunteering programme. On your marks – where you are just thinking about things. Get set – planning and getting things in place. Go – when you actually make a start. Finally, keep it up – to continue with the good work you are doing.

“I found it a very good induction process: the way the programme was split out was well described and articulated; we had a call to introduce everyone, [where it felt like] staff were genuinely trying to help the clinic; I felt welcomed, supported, and had all info needed” 
– Hiyos Helper 

It’s easy to join and we’re pretty confident you’ll enjoy it and will learn lots too…

Sign up – it’s free

It is really easy.  Signing up is really easy. We will send you updates on work that is available and you can sign up. Simples. 

Attending online

There will be opportunities to volunteer online as well as in person. There are lots of different ways to support patients. Don’t worry, we’ll train you up.  

Project work

There will also be an opportunity to do nhs volunteering work on a project. These are often around producing interesting content for groups of patients.

Face to face placements

There will be a limited number of face to face placements in general practice and hospital settings.

Research & evaluation

We would like to evaluate the impact of this programme on your health. We are working with our research colleagues to produce a report of outcomes and hope to have publications in journals to share what we have learnt. Please do share your feedback, your responses will be anonymous. Healthcare is changing rapidly, you can help shape it. 

Learn more about roles below