Background 2018 was Year of the Young Person in Scotland. The hospice traditionally offered existing single-department roles to young people wanting clinical experience for college or work. As part of its Leadership Programme, Volunteer Services wanted an innovative and sustainable project offering young volunteers a range of opportunities in clinical departments.
Objectives of the project
To create a meaningful volunteering experience in healthcare for those aged 17–25;
To offer experience of various clinical departments;
To engage and build lasting, sustainable partnerships with local further education establishments, schools and organisations;
To develop positive working relationships with clinical teams to support this project.
Engagement with clinical teams to create a programme of short term volunteering opportunities;
Advertising via social media, local community links, local further education establishments, existing volunteer database;
Interview and appointment of four young volunteers;
Volunteers attended Hospice Corporate Induction and shadow trained for each role alongside volunteers and staff;
Volunteers completed a programme of 50 hours volunteering over 18 weeks;
Volunteers supported teams in the Wards, Day Therapies, Supportive Care, Reception and Fundraising;
Regular feedback was given to young volunteers face–to–face and via email and telephone contact.
Four young people completed the programme: two university students and two from senior school;
Young volunteers were placed in teams that had not had young volunteers before;
Positive and long–lasting relationships were built with colleagues across the hospice
Increased staff confidence in working with young volunteers;
Young people gained invaluable palliative care experience and emotional resilience
Staff are looking forward to the next cohort.
Availability of young volunteers often changed, so allow time to be flexible;
Work with schools and colleges on the best way to attract young volunteers;
Hugely rewarding to young people but allow enough time and resources to set up and facilitate.
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