Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
If you have a question that isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.
- How long is the recruitment process?
- Do all applicants get accepted for volunteering?
- Will I be able to volunteer immediately?
- Will I get any training?
- I've never worked professionally with children - will this hinder my chances of volunteering?
- What volunteer opportunities do you have?
- I am interested in doing work experience at GOSH. Can you arrange this?
- I want to shadow a doctor. Is that possible?
- I am a student looking for a placement in healthcare. Can I do my placement at GOSH?
- Can I volunteer if I am under 18?
- I am free over the summer holidays - can I volunteer for this period only?
- Can I volunteer as an art therapist at GOSH?
- Can I come in to read to the children?
- Do you accommodate one-off corporate volunteering events?
- We want to bring in our classroom of children – is this allowed?
- Once I start as a volunteer, can I claim travel expenses?
- We have a donation to give to the hospital - can we come in to do this?
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.
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 application form and subsequent training days.
Please refer to our step-by-step guide on how to apply for more details.
No. All volunteers must go through the necessary police checks, references, health screening and training and this can take some time to complete. It is likely that you will not be able to start volunteering until at least three months after we receive your application form.
You will be trained and inducted into your role before you start. All our volunteers must attend a one-day volunteer training course and other half day orientation and induction days. 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.
We do not expect our volunteers to have specific qualifications or experience to volunteer.
We have a wide variety of available roles, ranging from direct patient and parent support to helping out in administration and support services. Take a look at some of the roles in Examples of Opportunities section to see if there's something that will suit you.
Volunteer Services does not organise work experience. However, there is more information about work experience in our Working For Us section.
Volunteer Services does not organise this. You will need to contact our Human Resources department via the main switchboard.
We are unable to arrange student placements through Volunteer Services. Please contact the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) department for more information on how to apply.
We are currently unable to take anyone under 18 as a volunteer. This is due to responsibility and legal issues.
We ask you to commit to a minimum of 12 months for a volunteering role. This is because preparation to become a volunteer is intensive and recruiting volunteers for any less time commitment would be cost inefficient to GOSH.
Our arts programme,GOSH Arts, occasionally take volunteers to support their work. However, although participating in certain activities delivered by GOSH Arts might have a therapeutic impact for patients the programme is not an art therapy programme and they will be unable to take art/music/dance/drama therapists for therapy related roles. If you require any further information please contact the GOSH Arts
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 Range of opportunities to see if these roles are for you.
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.
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.
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.
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 return journey per day of volunteering.
You will also receive a meal allowance when you work for longer than four hours.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7239 3131. Thank you for your support.