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?

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.

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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 application form and subsequent training days.

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

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Will I be able to volunteer immediately?

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.

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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 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.

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

We do not expect our volunteers to have specific qualifications or experience to volunteer.

Volunteers at GOSH

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What volunteer opportunities do you have?

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. 

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I am interested in doing work experience at GOSH. Can you arrange this?

Volunteer Services does not organise work experience. However, there is more information about work experience in our Working For Us section. 

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I want to shadow a doctor. Is that possible?

Volunteer Services does not organise this. You will need to contact our Human Resources department via the main switchboard. 

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I am a student looking for a placement in healthcare. Can I do my placement at GOSH?

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. 

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Can I volunteer if I am under 18?

We are currently unable to take anyone under 18 as a volunteer. This is due to responsibility and legal issues.

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I am free over the summer holidays - can I volunteer for this period only?

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.

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Can I volunteer as an art therapist at GOSH?

Volunteer services

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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 return journey per day of volunteering.

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

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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 or call 020 7239 3131. Thank you for your support.

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