8. Volunteers

4.54. Staff, patients and volunteers benefit from well-designed volunteering initiatives. Volunteers contribute across a range of NHS roles, from first responders and care companions to trust governors and transport volunteers. They enable staff to deliver high-quality care that goes above and beyond core services. Well-designed and managed volunteering programmes improve satisfaction and wellbeing ratings for staff, as well as volunteers and patients. Local volunteering allows older people to stay physically active and connected to their communities [174], and younger people to develop skills and experience for work and education [175]. But not all NHS organisations offer these opportunities for their local community, as the ratio of staff to volunteers in acute trusts ranges from 2:1 to 26:1 [176]. We will therefore encourage NHS organisations to give greater access for younger volunteers through programmes such as #iWill and an increased focus on programmes in deprived areas, and for those with mental health issues, learning disabilities and autism. And we will back the Helpforce programme with at least £2.3 million of NHS England funding to scale successful volunteering programmes across the country, part of our work to double the number of NHS volunteers over the next three years.


174. Centre for Ageing Better (2018) Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering: Review of community contributions in later life. Available from: https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/publications/age-friendly-inclusive-volunteering

175. The Behavioural Insights Team (2016) Does social action help develop the  skills  young  people  need  to succeed in adult life?. Available from: https://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/education-and-skills/does-social- action-help-develop-the-skills-young-people-need-to-succeed-in-adult-life/

176. Galea, A., Naylor, Buck, D & Weaks, L (2013) Volunteering in acute trusts in England: Understanding the scale and impact. The King’s Fund. Available from: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/ field_publication_file/volunteering-in-acute-trusts-in-england-kingsfund-nov13.pdf