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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions about volunteering at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

If you have a question that isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Volunteer services
Volunteer services - Ali

The process can take up to three months before you start volunteering. This will depend on how quickly you fill in and return the necessary forms and whether your chosen role is available. It also depends on how quickly important stages of the recruitment process take, such as receiving your references and police clearance.

Do all applicants get accepted for volunteering?

Due to high volumes of applications and limited volunteering roles, we are unable to place everyone. This is why it is important that you provide us with as much relevant information as possible in your registration form and subsequent interview and training days.

Please refer to our step-by-step guide on  how to apply for more details.

Will I be able to volunteer immediately?

No. All volunteers must go through the necessary police checks, references, occupational health and training and this can take some time to complete. It is likely that you will not be able to start volunteering until three months after we receive your application form.

Will I get any training?

You will be trained and inducted into your role before you start. All our volunteers must attend a one-day GOSH induction programme and a one-day volunteer training course. You will have to complete some on-line training and finally have a local induction within your ward or department. Once you are in role, there are lots of ongoing training opportunities available.

I've never worked professionally with children - will this hinder my chances of volunteering?

No. We do not expect our volunteers to have specific qualifications or experience to volunteer.

Volunteers at GOSH
Volunteer services

Our arts and humanities programme,  GO Create!, occasionally take volunteers to support their work. However, it is rare for them to take art therapists for therapy related roles. If you require any further information, please contact the GO Create! team. 
There are some roles within Volunteer Services where volunteers use arts and crafts to play with children. If you are interested, have a look at our list of current volunteer opportunities  to see if these roles are for you.

Can I come in to read to the children?

We don't have specific roles available for this, but there are some roles already available where reading to children is part of the job description. Have a look at our list of  current volunteer opportunities for more details. 

Do you accommodate one-off corporate volunteering events?

We work closely with  GOSH Children's Charity to provide one-off volunteering for employees of companies who are supporting the charity through Charity of the Year or commercial fundraising partnerships. Please contact our  Corporate Partnerships team for more information on supporting the charity in this way.

We want to bring in our classroom of children – is this allowed?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate groups of school children. GOSH is a working hospital with very sick children and young people and large groups can be disruptive. 

Once I start as a volunteer, can I claim travel expenses?

Yes! GOSH pays out of pocket travel expenses for all volunteers who work the minimum shift of four hours. We are able to reimburse up to the maximum of a zone 6 travel card  per day of volunteering.

You will also receive a meal voucher when you work for longer than four hours. 

We have a donation to give to the hospital - can we come in to do this?

Yes, you can! Please take your donation to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity desk located outside The Lagoon restaurant. The desk is staffed Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm. If there is nobody at the desk, please put your donation in a donation envelope and place it in the secure deposit box. If you would like to contact the Community Fundraising team please email  fundraising@gosh.org or call 020 7239 3131. Thank you for your support.

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"I feel like it's embarking on a journey of fantasy and released imagination!" Helena