Volunteering in NHS Ayrshire & Arran



In NHS Ayrshire & Arran, volunteers have for many years played an integral part in performing wide-ranging activities across a variety of healthcare and community settings. In recent years there has been increased recognition of the importance of effectively managing volunteers to ensure both the volunteer and their beneficiaries get the most from their respective volunteering roles. As the largest employer in Ayrshire, NHS Ayrshire & Arran is committed to being an exemplar employer and engager of volunteers, working in partnership with communities serving and fulfilling the responsibility of promoting social inclusion and equality of opportunity.

Defining volunteering

When referring to volunteering in the organisation we are using the definition from Volunteer Development Scotland Ltd (also known as Volunteer Scotland). 'A person who gives freely and willingly of their time to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients, carers and users of Scotland's NHS,'

Volunteers can be seen throughout NHS Ayrshire & Arran and some of them are managed and supported by us making them what we call 'direct' volunteers. Other volunteers you may come across while in one of our hospitals are volunteering for voluntary organisations such as Hospital Volunteers and Hospital Radio.

Also in NHS Ayrshire & Arran's 'direct' volunteer roles, we have a further two categories: 'managed' and 'non-managed' volunteers.

The term 'managed volunteer' is used to describe volunteers who are involved in activities that are defined and supervised by a NHS member of staff. This member of staff will be responsible for volunteering in a specific NHS service area. 

Examples of these volunteer roles are:  mystery visitors, volunteer drivers, ward mealtime volunteers and welcomers (University Hospital Crosshouse).

The term 'non-managed volunteer' describes people who volunteer to take part in public/patient/carer involvement, community engagement or health service improvement activities. These people will participate in, for example, reference groups, consultation events and/or service planning meetings. 'Non-managed' volunteers' activities are somewhat intangible in that it is often their thoughts, feelings and views that are sought rather than the performance of specific duties.

Benefits of volunteering

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons and the benefits for everyone are varied. Volunteers may experience a number of benefits such as higher self-esteem, access to a wider social circle or gaining new skills/experience. Patients, visitors and staff can often have a better quality of experience due to the actions of a volunteer who can devote the time to doing things that make a real difference for our patients.

Future of volunteering

It is hoped that in the future we can continue to expand our current volunteer roles and further strengthen the relationships we have with other voluntary organisations that kindly provide and manage valued volunteers to work with us. It is important to note that although our volunteers have real potential to compliment the work of NHS Ayrshire & Arran they will not be used to carry out tasks normally undertaken by staff and volunteers will in no way substitute the work of paid staff.



We are currently recruiting - ward volunteers


Volunteers' handbook

Click here to see the Volunteers' handbook.

Spotlight - Volunteering newsletter

Volunteers survey 2017

Voluntary sector partners

Our voluntary sector partners in East, North and South Ayrshire also have a variety of volunteer roles that might interest you. You can contact them direct to find out more about the roles they have to offer. 



East Ayrshire Volunteer Centre

Email:  maureen.murphy@eav.org.uk
Call:  01563 544765 

 TSInalogo   The Ayrshire Community Trust (North Ayrshire)
Email: info@theayrshirecommunitytrust.co.uk
Call:  01294 443044


Voluntary Action South Ayrshire
Email: hazel@voluntaryactionsouthayrshire.org.uk 




Contact details


Eglinton House
Ailsa Hospital
Dalmellington Road
Ayr KA6 6AB
Telephone:  01292 513669