Young People's Mental Health Buddy: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the top ranked and top performing hospital trusts in the UK. We employ more than 6,000 staff over our two main hospital sites, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital, and across 12 community-based clinics within North West London. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding care to a community of over…

This volunteering role supports the Best for You youth mental health programme and supports staff, patients and friends and family on the paediatric wards at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

We work with peer volunteers as feedback from young patients was that they wanted to be supported by people who looked like them, sounded liked them and had similar backgrounds to them. We want our patients to be supported by people they can relate to and who they are more likely to engage with. Our volunteers have a really valuable resource that our staff have much less of – time! Our clinical staff are incredible, and their main priority is looking after the clinical care of patients. The peer volunteers have the time to get to know our patients. They can sit down and spend a few hours with them individually every time they come in. At first, this might just be chatting about the young person’s day or playing a therapeutic game together. Over time, this can help to create a strong relationship and gives our young patients someone independent they can talk to. Our volunteers help to create a strong supportive network around our patients, which compliments the excellent clinical care they receive.

This role is available across a variety of different paediatric wards at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which support children from a variety of ages from 0 to 18, with a variety of conditions from minor ailments such as viral coughs through to serious and life-limiting conditions such as cancer and patients who are in hospital struggling with their mental health. Some children are with us only for a day or two; others are here for weeks at a time. Both children and parents need supporting during their time with us, and this is an important role in providing that support.

Time commitment

• The service is open throughout the week and weekends. We ask you to do your initial few shifts Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm but after that the shifts can be in the day time, in the evenings and at the weekend
• One shift per week of at least 3 hours during these times is required (we understand, during exam season or just for personal reasons you might have to miss some weeks but we ask for as regular commitment as possible)
• A commitment of 6 months is required for this role
Application deadline
What measures have you put in place to ensure volunteers’ safety during COVID-19?
Volunteers will be trained on Covid in the hospital, including correct PPE to wear on different Wards. Volunteers will be asked to wear face masks when in the hospital and will be asked to regularly Covid test. Covid patients in the hospital are in separate Wards that volunteers will not have access to.

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch at any time with any questions, queries or problems you encounter.