Small Acts of Friendship works with Voluntary Services at the Royal Sussex County Hospital to provide befriending provision on the elderly care wards. This could include sitting with patients to provide company, reading to patients or listening with empathy as they share their experiences. There is no personal care involved in this role. We usually ask volunteers to commit to one morning or afternoon shift per week and our volunteers either run or support activities for patients, including hand massage, poetry reading, hairdressing, music or art. You will have good interpersonal skills, a calm, friendly, compassionate nature and an interest in helping and supporting people.
To start the process of becoming a volunteer, please register your interest here to attend an Open Morning : click ‘No’ that you are not a student and then mention Small Acts of Friendship in your Reasons for Choosing BSUH. Volunteering in a hospital premises requires a DBS check and certain training to be done before you are able to start.
Elderly patients love to hear music, especially music that is familiar from their youth. If you are able to come and sing, either accompanied by an instrument or not, we would love to hear from you. If you don't feel able to lead a singing group, that's fine - we can find a role for you supporting a group leader.
Some patients love having poetry read to them. If you enjoy poetry, reading aloud and discussing poetry please consider giving your time to support this activity.
Small Acts of Friendship has trained hairdressers coming on to the ward regularly, but we would really appreciate a regular volunteer to support them, by talking to the patients, perhaps brushing their hair and talking to them.
For those of our elderly care patients who are well enough to sit up and engage, and perhaps even sit up at a table, we are asking for art volunteers. Some patients enjoy sitting and colouring in and having a quiet chat while they do this. You don't need to be a great artist to help with this.
Some of our patients are really just looking for a chat. It might be about their youth, or about their family, the latest events in the newspapers that Small Acts of Friendship provides, or about how they are feeling today. Days in hospital can be very long and even for those with local family visiting hours are only a small part of the day, so people to talk to are very much valued in engaging patients.
The Friends Shop is a traditional charity shop selling vintage and shabby chic clothes. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 6pm. If you are interested in volunteering in the shop, please call in to meet our shop manager Cat to discuss the role. Training will be given as necessary and no experience is needed - just enthusiasm. The application form to volunteer at the Friends Shop is here.
This café is open Monday to Friday from 9am until 4pm, offering hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks to patients, staff and service users in the Park Centre. We are always looking for the right volunteer to commit to one morning or afternoon session per week. We provide all training, but our volunteers do need to be recruited through BSUH because this is a hospital building. The cafe can be quiet and our volunteers thrive best if they like a calmer atmosphere and enjoy time to catch up on some reading. We have a lovely team of volunteers and their caring and welcoming attitude is especially appreciated by those patients whose treatment takes some time.
Loraine joined the team at the Friends cafe in 2018 and volunteers on a Friday morning. It's a busy session and Loraine says, "I am really enjoying my role".
If you are interested in joining our team of volunteers, please contact Suzy and Sarah at the Friends office via email or on 01273 664936.
This busy tea bar is run by a team of volunteers managed by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. For more information about joining them, please contact the Voluntary Services Manager.
The Royal Sussex County Hospital is a vital part of our Community. There are lots of ways you can get involved with supporting it. Contact us to find out more.