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Volunteering “Highly Effective” Way To Attract People To Careers In Health And Care

MORE than half of volunteers who joined the innovative Volunteer to Career programme, run by the charity Helpforce and funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, have secured employment or further education in health and care.

A new report, published by Helpforce, evaluated the Volunteer to Career programme implemented by 12 NHS Trusts across the UK between 2021 and 2023. The report aimed to determine whether the programme could help to address the workforce challenge faced by the health and care sector.

The report found that by the end of the Volunteer to Career programme:

• 59 per cent of volunteers secured employment or further education/training
• 92 per cent of volunteers maintained or increased their interest in an NHS or social care career
• 95 per cent of volunteers maintained or increased their confidence in their career ambitions

A significant finding of the report showed volunteers made a huge difference to staff and patients, where:

• 87 per cent of staff agreed that volunteers help to improve the quality of service
• 82 per cent of staff believe volunteers are helpful in allowing them time to deliver good care
• Staff reported volunteers saved them an average of 63 minutes per interaction

Maeve Hully, Director of Volunteering at Helpforce, said: “We are delighted to see these positive results after just two years of running the programme with 12 NHS Trusts. We also would like to thank the Burdett Trust for Nursing for their great support in funding this programme.

“The Volunteer to Career programme is one of a kind. The programme identifies a pathway for volunteers to develop their careers in health and care. What makes the programme stand out is that volunteers receive support from workforce and clinical leads in the organisation that they volunteer with. Participants get first-hand experience of working within the health and care environment, encouraging them to realise their careers in health and care.”

Shirley Baines, Chief Executive at the Burdett Trust for Nursing said: “We are delighted to have supported this programme and very proud to see this programme is bringing more talents to the NHS.

“What stood out for us in this report is that the programme has successfully attracted volunteers from diverse backgrounds, where individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds accounted for up to 78 per cent of all volunteers, ensuring that they can bring different perspectives that can help NHS Trusts to improve experiences for all groups of patients as well as help us to tackle health inequalities.”

 

 
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