NHS Trusts: Young Volunteer Programmes

Volunteers are essential in supporting the smooth running of the NHS.  They add value to services, enhance patient experience, support staff, and improve care.  When young people volunteer, they bring something special to patients and services, as well as developing their own skills, confidence, wellbeing and career opportunities.

Through the Pears #iwill Fund, in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we have joined forces with NHS England and NHS Improvement to grow youth volunteering across health and care services.  The work builds on the pilots and learning developed by Nesta’s ‘Helping in Hospitals Programme’, and has been hugely influenced and support by the research and work of the #iWill campaign and partners across the voluntary and community sector.

Launched at NHS Expo in 2017, with work beginning in 2018, the year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS, the Pears #iwill Fund seed funds NHS Trusts and their respective charities, to develop high-quality, inclusive and sustainable social action opportunities for young people in their communities to engage with their local NHS. 

The Pears #iWill Fund is now working with 28 NHS Trusts across England, and Pears Foundation is very pleased to be supporting additional Trusts in Scotland and Wales.  All participating NHS Trusts are supported through a Peer Learning Network, convened and facilitated by the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, to inform practice and support learning across the programme.

A full list of NHS Trusts involved in the programme is available here.

The Pears #iwill Fund will run through to 2021 in line with the #iwill Campaign, and the majority of funding for NHS Trusts is already committed.  If you are an NHS Trust interested in developing your youth engagement work, please do get in touch and we will do our best to signpost you to helpful contacts and resources.  A good place to start are the blogs and materials being produced by IVAR, available on their website.

Further information about growing youth social action in health and social care can also be found through the #iwill Campaign website.