Outpatient Experience Group

OEG is always looking for new members to help improve outpatient services.  Members can be involved at a level of activity that suits them and can give their input via email, telephone or in person at monthly meetings.

We are keen to welcome representatives from LGBT+, BAME and Armed Forces communities to ensure we have a diverse group of voices.

We welcome patient feedback and also enquiries to join the group. If you would like to join the group, or have something you feel they should discuss, please contact: cuh.ppi@nhs.net

Wheelchair Collectors

Many of our patients and visitors have mobility problems and may need to use a wheelchair.  Like supermarket trolleys, our wheelchairs end up located across all four corners of the site where they are inaccessible, so this volunteer is to collect and redistribute wheelchairs to fixed, accessible locations around the Trust.  This vital role supports our Volunteer Guides to undertake their role more effectively as wheelchairs are readily available when needed.  The role bears a very positive and important impact on the smooth delivery of our services.

Rosie Volunteer

During a shift, as well as chatting to patients, volunteers could be spending time showing birth partners and mothers around the ward, distributing magazine donations and taking the Discharge DVD to patients who are going to be discharged.  As with other ward volunteer roles, under the instruction of the Housekeeper, Rosie volunteers will help at mealtimes by giving out meals to patients who are not mobile.


The CUH Chaplaincy Department has a large and well established team of volunteers.  There are two ways of being involved:

As a Chaplaincy Ward Volunteer: ‘adopting’ a ward and visiting patients on a regular (usually 2-3 hours per week) basis.

As a Chaplaincy Sunday Volunteer:  taking Holy Communion to and/praying with patients who have asked for a bedside visit on Sunday mornings (approximately 09.00 – 13.00).

And/or: collecting patients in wheelchairs (by request) so they can attend the 11.00 am Service in Chapel.  Volunteers usually commit to doing this on a regular Sunday (e.g. first) each month.

For further details and registration forms please contact the Chaplaincy team via cuh.chaplaincy@nhs.net

Radio Addenbrooke’s

Radio Addenbrooke’s is run by volunteers who gain great satisfaction from producing shows, meeting patients and playing music requests.  There are various positions available including radio presenter, librarian and technician.  Don’t worry, training will be provided, you just need to be able to communicate well with people of all ages.

Times:  Flexible.

Uniform:  Black Radio Addenbrooke’s top shirt/polo shirt.

Addenbrooke’s Cancer Patient Partnership Group (CPPG)

The Addenbrooke’s CPPG is a group of patients and carers (past or current) who work with hospital staff to design and improve cancer services. The group has 50+ members and is led by a Committee of up to 20 members. They have co-produced this video which emphasises the importance of the patient voice and co-production within Addenbrooke’s Cancer Services.

The CPPG is always looking for new members.  They can be involved at a level of activity that suits them and can give their input via email, telephone or in person at meetings and workshops.  There’s no regular commitment or requirement to come to meetings.  We are keen to welcome representatives from LGBT+, BAME and Armed Forces communities to ensure we have a diverse group of voices.

For more information, contact:

Lenja Bell, Macmillan Co-Production Lead, 07729 105550

Email: cppg@addenbrookes.nhs.uk

Website: https://www.cuh.nhs.uk/our-services/cancer-services/cancer-support-services/addenbrookes-cancer-patient-partnership-group/

Young Person’s Volunteering Programme: Charlotte

Our evidence shows that volunteering improves communication skills and confidence and facilitates personal challenge and growth. The opportunity to volunteer is also seen as beneficial by Higher Education providers; although not all of the young people participating are seeking future careers in the health sector. More details about the programme are available here.

Bethany completed the programme while studying for her A levels.  She explains:

“I first started volunteering with Addenbrookes as part of the Young Persons Programme, after which I became a ward volunteer.  I also help out by mentoring new volunteers when they first start on their wards.  Getting to chat to new people is a highlight of my week, and I love hearing the different stories patients have to tell! The opportunity to experience a hospital setting and find out how best to talk to patients has helped me pursue my aspirational career as a medical professional, but no matter what your chosen career, you can still learn great communication and teamwork skills by volunteering at Addenbrookes.

It’s amazing the difference just a couple of hours of your time can make to the experience of patients in hospital; a chat and a cup of tea can really brighten their day!”

Profile: Owen

Each day offers new experiences and an opportunity to make a tangible difference to someone’s well-being. Notably, the ‘dementia champion’ role enables us to make a meaningful difference to patients and their families, whose needs are often overlooked by society. The volunteering service at the Cambridge University Hospitals provides an excellent work environment by continually offering opportunities to equip you with relevant training and always providing a helping hand to ensure that you never feel alone.

As a PhD student researching ageing diseases such as those in dementias, I have found this opportunity profoundly insightful as it offers context as to how these conditions may manifest in individuals and why research is necessary to combat these illnesses. For me, the highlight of this role is seeing how meaningful my small contribution may be, especially reflected in the smile on the patients’ faces.

Profile: Philip

The role involves approaching a list of patients that has been drawn up by the major trauma team and asking them if they would be happy to complete the form themselves or sometimes, (usually for the more elderly patients and those whose arm might be in plaster), offering to read the questions and recording the responses on their behalf.  Since there is no dedicated trauma ward in the hospital, the patients can be located all over and it is a great way to boost my daily steps!   I have quickly learned that route planning is essential to avoid having to back-track and this is the first thing that I do each session.

It is an immensely satisfying role which brings me into direct contact with patients.  I never fail to be amazed by the fortitude of the patients, some of whom have sustained life-changing injuries. Nonetheless all of them seem to have a very positive attitude and are so grateful for the wonderful care that they are receiving at Addenbrookes.

The survey is part of a national audit and aims to find ways to make the trauma service in NHS England even better.  I am very pleased to be playing a tiny part in that.

Profile: Lisa and Poppy

Poppy my large labradoodle was 6 years old at the time and displayed all the characteristics to be an amazing therapy dog.  I registered with Pets as Therapy, Poppy passed her assessment with flying colours, and we were fortunate to be accepted to volunteer at Addenbrookes at the end of 2019.

Poppy took to the role immediately; her tail starts to wag as soon as I reach for her special therapy dog lead and bandana from the cupboard, she clearly loves going into the hospital. Each week we spend 2 hours visiting various children’s wards where Poppy is adored by the children, parents, staff and visitors.  She loves the cuddles and the treats which the children feed to her, and it sometimes feels as though she eats her body weight in treats during her visits!

Its difficult to put into words the effect Poppy has during her visits, from the smiles, to sometimes tears from people who are missing their own dogs at home during their stay in hospital.  She can make those who are a little shy feel more confident, and bring calm to those who are feeling upset or stressed. One of our highlights was an elderly gentleman who had a stroke and been unable to communicate for 2 weeks and yet when Poppy sat with him, he suddenly started to speak –   the power a dog in all its glory!

As for me, it has really changed my life being able to volunteer with Poppy. I feel blessed to be able to give back to such a great hospital that was amazing in treating my family and being able to bring a smile to the children and everyone else we meet during our visits each week.

Together - Safe, kind, Excellent
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