The young person’s volunteering programme (16-18)

The Young Person’s Programme is available exclusively for those aged 16-18 with cohorts held three times a year in spring term, summer holidays and autumn term.

If you are unable to join one of these programmes, you can apply to any of our daytime roles, including guide, wheelchair, clinic and ward volunteers. You will generally need to be available once per week between 10.30 – 12.30 or 14.00 – 16.00. You can find more information here: Volunteering opportunities – Our Volunteers (

This activity may count towards your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Volunteering section, please check with your DofE Leader before applying.  We are able to accommodate candidates for the duration of all three levels.   Please contact us for further information:  01223 586616 or

YPP volunteers are allocated to the wards, where they help out with the meal service, providing assistance and encouragement for our frailer patients.   YPP volunteers can engage with patients who are lonely, isolated or anxious with the opportunity to communicate. This can take the form of:

  • A conversation
  • An activity (such as a quiz or game)

These interactions are simple but can make a great difference to patients, to whom the day in hospital can seem long and dreary. A listening ear, a friendly smile and a kind word are sometimes the things that matter most.

If you have an interest in investigating a career in the NHS, you can gain valuable insight into life on the wards. The programme can help you to develop your communication skills and confidence as you move through the duration of the programme. Volunteering in a hospital is also frequently seen as beneficial by Higher Education establishments.

The programme

  • Spring and autumn programmes:  The volunteering duty is once per week for two hours, 16.30-18.30, Monday-Friday.  Successful applicants will be allocated a specific day during the week.
  • Summer programme: The volunteering duty is two shifts per week, each of two hours per week; 11.00-13.00 and/or 14.00-16.00 Monday-Friday. Successful applicants will be allocated specific shifts during  week.
  • YPP volunteers are required to attend for the duration of the programme unless illness or other agreed absence prevents attendance.
  • Weekly online healthcare awareness sessions are conducted over Teams including talks from Occupational Therapists, Dementia Specialist Nurse, Dietitian, and Radiographers.  Attendance  is compulsory, monitored and tied to your ability to progress through the programme.
  • Mid-term Healthcare Careers Event including an opportunity to ask questions of senior leaders within CUH (January and September programmes only).  It is compulsory to attend.
  • All volunteers are supported throughout the programme by Voluntary Services Department staff.
  • At the end of the programme volunteers will receive certificates and a reference. There are opportunities to be a supervisor in the next programme and/or mentor the new YPP volunteers.

Comments from Young Volunteers:

“There will be some aspects that will surprise you but you learn a lot and I feel it is a very valuable experience”

“It is very rewarding, you meet a great bunch of people volunteering.”

Feedback from Healthcare Awareness sessions:

“Just wanted to firstly say thank you for the running of the YPP programme. I really enjoyed myself and learnt many new things which will definitely help me for the future” 

“Thank you for providing this course, it’s been an experience that was filled with learning about the Trust and how the NHS works.”


Autumn 2023 Cohort – Monday 18 September – Friday 8 December 2023

Applications: This cohort has been filled, please see details below for the next cohort.

Interviews:  Wednesday 12 June 2023.    If shortlisted you will be invited to attend a face to face interview.

YPP Induction:  Thursday 14 September 2023.


January 2024 Cohort – Monday 29 January – Friday 26 April 2024

Applications: Monday 18 September to Sunday 8 October 2023

Interviews:  Tuesday 14 November and Thursday 16 November 2023.    If shortlisted you will be invited to attend a face to face interview.

YPP Induction:  Tuesday 23 January 2024.


If successful and offered a place on the Young Person’s Programme, you will need to complete mandatory training and attend the YPP induction.

NB:  people under the age of 18 cannot spend more than a total of 40 hours per week in school/college, paid work and volunteering.

As a volunteer, the right to work within the UK is still needed and as part of our recruitment process the relevant documents will be checked.  You need to give this consideration before applying.

Could you help?

Our volunteers make a real difference to patients and staff.

Volunteering opportunities

Exciting volunteering roles available now.

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