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Caring young volunteers take to the wards

Published 25/07/2013

Derby Hospitals has introduced a scheme to encourage local school students, aged between 16 and 18, to come along and see just how a hospital works by being a volunteer. 

The Young Volunteers Scheme was initially started with just a few students and has now proved such a success that we will have in excess of 100 student volunteers by Christmas 2013.

One of the first schools to take part was Repton School who were looking at opportunities for their students to go out into the community and offer help and support to others. Val Cosford who is a teacher from the school said: “I contacted the hospital to see if it would be possible to take a few students and was really pleased when I was told about this new scheme being introduced. The students come along to the hospital once a week and help out on the wards by talking to the patients, playing cards or even reading them a book. They really enjoy the experience and get frustrated if school commitments get in the way of their volunteering. We have had a lot of interest from other students and have at least 12 or 15 who are interested in coming along in September, doubling the numbers that we currently have volunteering. This is a fantastic opportunity for the school to get involved in the community and for our students to gain such valuable experience.”

Two students from the school who have been volunteering since October 2012 are Imogen Billings, 17 and Scott Hickling, 16 who love their volunteering role so much they are now acting as mentors to young volunteers from other local schools.

Scott said: “I didn’t know what to expect when I first came and was worried about doing things wrong. There was no need to worry though as we were shown what to do and soon got use to everything. I love talking to the patients and I remember chatting to a war veteran who shared his stories with me about his time in Korea and flying in the RAF.” 

Imogen said: “I would certainly recommend volunteering, it’s not only good to put on your CV but it is one of the best opportunities you can have to interact with people and it’s fun.”

Jackie Marriott, assistant head of facilities management who manages the volunteering service said: “Over the last year we have worked closely with various secondary schools which has led to a massive increase in younger people volunteering. I have been particularly impressed by their outstanding commitment, interest in our patients and a willingness to learn. I can’t imagine our hospitals without them.”


For further information, please contact:

Liz Smith

Communications Officer

Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 


01332 785778

Last Modified 25/07/2013