For patients>>Advice and support>>Volunteer


If you are a good listener, like helping people and have time to spare, you might like to consider voluntary work at one of our hospitals - Barts in the City, The Royal London in Whitechapel and The London Chest in Bethnal Green.  More than 500 volunteers are already working closely with our staff to provide some of the more personal and caring services for patients, visitors and our 7,000 strong workforce.  Without their help services like the ward trolley service, and the flower and souvenir shops would cease to exist.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers work in many areas of the hospital, taking on the role of a friend to patients, visitors and staff. They complement the work of the paid staff. The various volunteer roles include:

  • Ward befriender: helps to make a patient's time in hospital more comfortable by chatting, listening, reading, doing a small amount of shopping, running an errand or escorting a patient on a short walk.
  • Welcomers: work alongside reception and A&E reception staff to show patients and visitors to the area they are trying to reach.
  • Mobile Trolley Shop: carries drinks, confectionery, magazines, toiletries and stamps to the wards. This is a nice opportunity to visit wards and chat with patients.
  • Shop helper: in one of the shops, helping customers and selling goods such as confectionery, toiletries, stationery, greetings cards, newspapers, drinks, t-shirts, pens, diaries, souvenirs and flowers.
  • Chaplaincy befriender: sits and listens to patients on the ward with the hospital chaplains. The chaplaincy is made up of representatives from different religious beliefs and faiths from the local community.
  • London air ambulance volunteers: help with fundraising and in the HEMS hospital shop.
  • General volunteers: help with events such as flower shows and open days.

How do I become a volunteer?

To become a volunteer at any of our hospitals, you will need to be:

  • Able to work on your own as well as with members of staff.
  • A friendly person who is able to work with all types of people.

In addition to the above requirements, to be a volunteer at The Royal London Hospital you will also need to be:

  • Willing and able to work for a minimum of two hours each week.
  • Willing to fit in where there is a place, ie either on a ward or department.

If references, criminal records check and health questionnaire are satisfactory, and you are thought to be suitable, you will be offered a role as a volunteer.


The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel please contact:
Volunteer Co-ordinator, Ann Walden, tel 020 7377 7792 or e-mail
Opportunities available as a ward befriender, welcomer, trolley shop, shop helper, chaplaincy befriender and air ambulance helper.

St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield please contact:
Volunteer Co-ordinator, Karen Potter, tel 020 7601 8339 or e-mail
Opportunities available as a ward befriender, welcomer, trolley shop and shop helper.

The London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green please contact: 
Appeals Manager, Pat Gray, tel 020 8983 2345 or e-mail
Opportunities available as shop helper, trolley shop and events.