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Our values: Care with compassion, Respect and dignity, Striving to excel, Professional standards, Working together
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Generic Volunteering

"I may make a living by what I get, but I make a life by what I give......."

There are a number of volunteering opportunities offered by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust at both Darent Valley Hospital and Queen Mary's at Sidcup. Volunteers help support the hospital in numerous different ways, assisting clinical staff on ward, meeting and greeting, as well as assisting office based staff with admin tasks. As part of our Equality and Diversity commitment we aim for the Trust’s volunteers to reflect the communities we serve.  This is a positive action statement as our volunteers are under-represented by male volunteers and we welcome male applications for volunteer posts

If you are, however,  interested in becoming a Dementia Buddy, Caring Companion, Valley Park Radio Volunteer or in work experience please click on the relevant volunteering forms on the right under ‘Other Opportunities.”

Why volunteer

Volunteering can be a good way of getting an idea of what it’s like to work in the health and social care sector. But it’s not a short-term commitment: we ask all our volunteers to give us at least three hours of their time a week for a year, so we can create long-lasting and meaningful roles for them and us. You also need to:


  • be over 17
  • be good at mixing with people
  • enjoy helping others
  • want to develop your own skills as an individual.

What can I do?

Current volunteering roles at Darent Valley include:

  • Ward Visitors help make patients’ time in hospital more comfortable by chatting, listening, reading, doing a small amount of shopping, running an errand or escorting them on short walks.
  • Hospital Guides work across the hospital giving patients and visitors directions and escorting them.
  • Activity Group Volunteers help coordinate activities for elderly patients on the wards, such as games, singing and general stimulation.
  • Meal Assistant Volunteers assist patients with eating and drinking at mealtimes.
  • Chaplaincy Volunteers offer spiritual, religious, pastoral and practical support to patients of all beliefs. This is more of a listening and responding role rather than about religion or belief.

Current volunteering roles at Queen Mary's include:

  • Hospital Guides work across the hospital giving patients and visitors directions and escorting them.
  • Meeter and Greeter at the main door or in other department giving patients and visitors directions and escorting them.
  • Ward Helper - work on the wards helping to make the patients stay in hospital more enjoyable.

  • Clerical - helping behind the scenes with filing, photocopying, packing envelopes and errand running.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

  • Meet new people.

  • Make friends.

  • Being able to give something back.

  • Learn new skills and build confidence.

  • Look at a possible new career direction.

  • A chance to give something back.

How much time do I have to give?

Many of our volunteers have very full and busy lives and still manage to find time to help others. You can give as much time as you wish or as little as 3-4 hours per week.

Will I be asked to do something I don't want to?

No. Because we have a clear description of each voluntary role and this is agreed with you before you start.

How do I sign up?

To get started, complete the online application form or contact the Fundraising & Voluntary Services, Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road Dartford, Kent, DA2 8DA 


We will review your completed application and if we think there is a good chance of a mutually beneficial placement for you at the Trust, we will invite you in for an interview. The informal interview enables us to find out more about you and assess what you can offer us.


If you are successful, we will invite you to join our volunteers, subject to satisfactory references, Criminal Records Bureau checks and Occupational Health clearance.


You will complete our training programme and then move onto specific placements at the Trust.


Other Volunteering Opportunities

Caring Companion Volunteer

What is a Caring Companion?

A Caring Companion is a volunteer who provides increased social care for patients in Accident and Emergency areas at Darent Valley. 


What Caring Companions do for patients

A Caring Companions role is to provide comfort and company for patients, helping to relive the distress of patients by providing reassurance, compassion and social interaction. This could be simply holding hands or by giving them a drink. 


Dementia Buddy Volunteer

A dementia buddy volunteer Is a specially trained volunteer who has a good understanding of dementia and knows how to engage positively with dementia patients. They will:


  • Promote dignity and respect. 

  • Provide social support whilst in an acute hospital setting.  

  • Engage in activities to help maintain cognitive capabilities.

  • Assist patients at mealtimes.  


Training and legal checks can take up to three months before being placed on a ward. All volunteers will receive full training, support and travel expenses (ten mile radius only).  The service runs from 9 am - 2 30 pm, 7 days a week.