Volunteer work is always welcome in care homes and nursing homes, as well as other social care services such as community groups. During the pandemic, volunteers were needed even more than usual due to a majority of care home staff being off with sickness or having to self-isolate.
There are various benefits to volunteering in care organisations, whether it is for work experience or to provide support in your local community.
If you are thinking about a new career path in the healthcare industry, volunteering in care homes or nursing homes in your local community is a fantastic way to gain first-hand work experience and make an informed decision as to whether this is the career for you. There’s no better way of getting a feel for a care role than assisting alongside other carers to see if working within a care home is the right option for you.
Not only can volunteering help with choosing a career, but volunteering experience can also be an incredibly rewarding thing to do. Spending time with elderly and vulnerable people provides opportunities to make a real difference in people's lives, providing companionship to them and supporting them with their health and wellbeing needs.
Getting to understand a resident’s background, likes, dislikes, wishes, and care needs are all important factors in providing the best service possible and making the biggest difference to someone’s quality of life.
Volunteering enables people to make new friends, develop their skills and experience, and put themselves in situations they may not have ever been in, opening their eyes to a different way of life.
Volunteering can help you to develop skills that will be beneficial for when you become employed in a range of different roles. Skills gained from volunteering include improved confidence, communication, empathy, time management, and people skills to name a few, which are transferable to other careers and will put you in good stead when starting a career in any sector.
The type of volunteering you do within a care organisation can vary. You play a significant role in contributing to the health and wellbeing of care home residents, working closely with older people, and building strong connections to enrich the lives of others. The way in which you do this can be through spending quality time reading with them, supporting them at meal times, asking them stories about themselves, playing games with them, and helping the nurses and care assistants to effectively provide care.
Volunteers can be of any age but are usually over the age of 16 and regardless of interests and background, everyone is welcome to apply as a volunteer. An individual could be studying, looking for work, currently working, or someone who is retired and wants to find a way of contributing to the community.
Volunteers give their time where possible - this could be a few hours a week or once a month. You don’t need any special qualifications or previous experience, just a positive attitude, compassion, and respect.
Care home volunteers are also required to have a DBS check, due to the nature of the role and environment involving vulnerable people. Most care organisations will also require one or two references to ensure they are accepting volunteers that are well-suited to the requirements of the home.
Penrose Court is pleased to offer volunteering opportunities and has previously welcomed volunteers who have had an excellent experience, and who have made a wonderful impact on the lives of our residents.
Meet Sean. Sean started volunteering at Penrose Court Care Home in 2021, working alongside other members of staff, assisting with mealtimes, one-to-one activities, and group activities as well as socialising with residents.
Sean stated: “I enjoy seeing all of the residents and working with some amazing staff.”
Sean joined us with the ambition of working for the ambulance service in the future and was looking for a way he could gain some useful experience.
“I came to try it and loved it. It is very rewarding and a lot of fun.” Sean stated.
It’s been a great joy and honour to have Sean as part of the Penrose Court family, and due to his outstanding hard work and dedication, we are delighted to say that we have taken him on as a Care Assistant and permanent member of the team.
Whether it's for work experience placements or to contribute to your community, volunteering in a care home provides valuable additional support, and care homes are always on the lookout for an extra helping hand, no matter how many hours you can offer.
Most care providers will post an advertisement on their website for you to apply through or will welcome you to get in touch directly to ask about volunteering opportunities. There are also many voluntary service providers who will find the work for you:
We hope this blog has helped you to understand more about what it takes to become a volunteer in a care home. If you have any questions about volunteering at Penrose Court Care Home or any of the care services and facilities we have to offer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our helpful team.