Befriender Volunteer - Weekday Afternoon (Weston General Hospital)

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust

Name: Befriender Volunteer - Weekday Afternoon (Weston General Hospital)
Organisation: University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
Location: Weston General Hospital, Grange Road, Uphill, Wesston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS23 4TQ
Type: Part Time
This is a regular role, Volunteers have a set ward, day and time. Afternoons 14:00pm to 16:00pm Please note: You must apply via the NHS Jobs Website before the closing date. Please copy and paste this link into your browser and search for this role.


• Providing companionship to patients and social interaction, particularly for older patients and those with a dementia or cognitive impairment.
• Encouraging patients to participate in social and recreational activities, such as reading a newspaper, listening to music, having a chat, playing cards, simple craft activities, either at the bed-side, on the ward, or at arranged activity events off the ward (eg Dementia Support Café).
• Proving reassurance to patients with a cognitive impairment (such as dementia).
• Supporting patients to use the virtual visiting service (through an iPad) as directed by ward staff.
• When appropriate and agreed by senior nursing staff, taking a patient to a hospital garden.
• Identifying carers and signposting to the hospital’s carers liaison service.
• Following current infection prevention and control measures and wearing the required personal protective equipment.
• When appropriate, on some wards, to support staff with the refreshments trolley.

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Organisation Description

NHS Hospital

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) was formed on 1 April 2020 following the merger of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust.

Bringing together a combined workforce of over 13,000 staff, the new Trust delivers over 100 different clinical services across 10 different sites serving a core population of more than 500,000 people.

With services from the neonatal intensive care unit to care of the elderly, we provide care to the people of Bristol, Weston and the south west from the very beginning of life to its later stages.

Our staff are the lifeblood of our Trust. They provide general diagnostic, medical and surgical services to the populations of central Bristol, south Bristol and North Somerset. These services are delivered from our Bristol city centre campus and Weston General Hospital with some services delivered in community settings such as South Bristol Community Hospital.

We also provide specialist services such as children's services, cardiac and cancer services, and other smaller specialist services that are nationally commissioned, to a wider population through the south west and beyond.


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Cause / Interests

  • Emergency Services
  • Health and Hospital and Hospices

Types of Activity

  • Administration
  • Befriending and Buddying
  • Caring
  • Community Work
  • General and Helping

Skills and Qualifications


What we are looking for
• A friendly and approachable manner. Reliable and trustworthy.
• Good social and communication skills, and proactive in approaching people.
• Ability to engage in a range of activities such as simple board games/puzzles, finding music
a patient would like to listen to, reading with a patient.
• Experience of a hospital/care setting or experience of spending time with older people.
• Ability to follow protocols relating to drinks service.
• Being sensitive to peoples’ vulnerabilities.
• An understanding of the impact a dementia or cognitive impairment can have on a patient’s
stay in hospital.
• Ability to follow infection prevention and control standards in place (including wearing
appropriate personal protective equipment, PPE) in the hospitals, and tactfully and
sensitively be able to encourage visitors to follow those same standards.
• Understanding of, or ability to learn, personal and professional boundaries.


We ask volunteers to support and demonstrate the Trust Values and Principles of Excellent Customer Service.

Trust Values –
We are supportive. We’re always there for each other.
We are respectful. We always look for the best in people.
We are innovative. We’re full of bright ideas.
We are collaborative. We do things together.
We are #TeamUHBW.

A volunteer is a valued member of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and is expected to:
• Volunteer within the guidelines agreed by the Voluntary
Services Manager for the placement
• Carry out their duties with consideration and respect to all staff,
general public, Foundation Trust members and patients at all
times, and in line with Trust Values and Principles of Excellent
Customer Service
• Maintain confidentiality at all times, whilst on placement and
once the placement is complete.
• Maintain good standards of communication with staff, general
public, Foundation Trust members, patients and visitors at all
• Comply with the Trust’s Health & Safety Policy and other
policies provided to the volunteer at the start of their
• Attend all training the Trust considers essential to the
volunteering role, in a timely manner.


• Rewarding experience, helping to make a patient’s stay in hospital a bit easier.
• Experience of the NHS at ward level.
• Working as part of a team.
• Training, including in infection prevention and control.
• PPE whilst volunteering.
• Volunteer uniform.
• Access to NHS Discounts.
• Reasonable travel expenses paid.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Expenses: Reasonable travel expenses paid.
Restrictions: Must volunteer for a minimum of six months.
Induction: Yes - on site
Insurance Cover: Yes
Special Needs: No due to role requirements
Offer: Yes. Voluntary Support Officer and Deputy Coordinator on site.
Training: Yes. Online training through e-learning for health.
Other: * Wheelchair access minimal within confined bed spaces.

Recruitment Method

Application form, Informal discussion, References, Information Day, Other, DBS Check, Interview