Being a volunteer

Volunteers are an important part of The Christie.

The Christie has around 300 hospital volunteers who give their support in a range of roles across the wards and departments which enhance patient care.  

Volunteers make a very valuable contribution to the enhancement of patient experience and care and are regarded as part of the hospital team. They have access to a range of meaningful volunteering opportunities within the hospital and do not undertake duties which might displace paid employees. All volunteers go through a robust recruitment, selection and screening process and the Trust ensures they are well placed, inducted, trained and supported throughout their volunteering to achieve the best possible practice and service.  

Volunteers at The Christie:   

  • Free up the time of paid staff - enabling them to carry out the duties for which they are qualified
  • Enhance the patients' experience of The Christie by providing services of a non-nursing, non-clinical nature.   

We have around 300 volunteers and the majority are on duty from 9.00 am - 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.   

The minimum age for all volunteers is 16 – there is no upwards age limit, but it would be recommended that you feel fit and well to take part.

We ask for a commitment of at least 6 months, completing at least one volunteering session per week. 

For this reason it’s important to think through carefully if you can fulfill this pledge particularly if you are applying to gain some experience and would like the Trust to confirm that you have carried this out as per our Volunteer Agreement Document which is signed by the volunteer at the time of recruitment.   

How do I become a volunteer?   

We currently have a large number of existing volunteers and so vacancies are not always available. When we do have new vacancies for volunteers we will hold a recruitment event, where volunteers MUST first PRE-REGISTER. To do this please email your name and contact details to confirming that you are also available to attend the essential training day.

Please note that the dates below are provisional and will only go ahead if we have vacancies available. We will therefore advise nearer the time which roles we will be recruiting for. 

Please therefore check back nearer the time to see if there are roles that you may be interested in. 

Currently, the next recruitment day is provisionally scheduled for April.


Provisional Recruitment Dates for 2017 Essential Mandatory Training (Auditorium, Education Centre) 

Fri 28th April: 10am-12pm 

(Auditorium, Education Centre)

Tues 09th May: 10am-1pm

Fri 9th June: 10am-12pm 

(Seminar Rooms 4 & 5, Education Centre, Department 17)

Wed 21st Jun: 10am-1pm

Mon 4th Sep: 10am-12pm 

(Seminar Rooms 4 & 5, Education Centre, Department 17)

Tues 12th Sep: 10am-1pm


This begins a process of formally applying for the available role, agreeing to attend the corresponding mandatory half-day training event (see table), and an occupational health check. At interview, we take a copy of 3 pieces of ID to complete a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Services) application and discuss in further detail the roles that are available.  References (x2) will be taken up as early as possible to try to avoid delays in the process.  We advise that candidates inform referees early in an attempt to minimise delays in the process.  

We receive high numbers of applications for volunteer places and unfortunately, we are not always able to offer a role to everyone that applies.  We thank you for your interest and advise you to check this page regularly. 

Please do ensure you have taken time to carefully read the above information about the volunteering procedure. 

If you still feel you need advice, the voluntary services team can be contacted on: 

Tel: 0161 446 3056/8616 or by email at 

Example Volunteering Roles  

There are a number of different types of volunteering roles across the hospital. When vacancies become available we will detail which roles will be recruited for at the recruitment day. 

Ward Work

Volunteers chat and read to patients as well as carrying out small but vital tasks such as giving out drinks. Volunteering on a ward also usually means operating the tea trolley – to give refreshments to patients and visitors to the ward at the bed side.

May Draper Tea Bar

The tea bar is in the outpatient department and provides light refreshments for patients. Volunteers make drinks, serve biscuits and handle small amounts of money using the till.

Charity volunteering

The Christie Charity is sometimes in need of some light administration help from volunteers for their fundraising events and initiatives – including sporting events. These volunteers also kindly act as supply for the tea bar (when a volunteer there is unable to attend their shift).

Meet and Greet Welcomer

When patients first arrive at The Christie for inpatient admission they are greeted by a volunteer team of 'welcomers'. These volunteers can accompany visitors to their ward, introduce them to the staff, help them to complete patient surveys and generally help them to feel welcome. We also ask that volunteer welcomers assist with visitors arriving in cars outside (who are dropping off a patient at the door) to help the patient feel comfortable. This service does not operate in the afternoons or at weekends.

Recreational Activities

Staying in hospital can be very boring, particularly for patients who do not feel ill. The hospital has a fully equipped art room, and offers a range of recreational activities. Since many patients are well enough to go home at weekend these activities are only offered on weekdays. Volunteers who have a talent for art may wish to provide assistance to this department.