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Devon Partnership NHS Trust recognises the important role volunteers play in complementing the work of our staff and we welcome the varied and unique contributions volunteers make to patients, carers, the public, and staff within the organisation.

We recognise the important role volunteers have and seek to involve volunteers to:

  • Improve the services and experience of patients, their families/carers, staff and the public
  • Provide individuals with new skills, confidence and experience
  • Involve the local community in the organisation's activities

Volunteering is a hugely valuable and rewarding experience for the volunteers and the communities they support, here are just some of the reasons why you may wish to consider volunteering with Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

  • To learn new skills and gain new experience.
  • To feel more confident, there is a growing body of evidence that shows it’s good for your own wellbeing!
  • To make new friends.
  • If you are currently studying and thinking of a career in health, volunteering can give you a unique insight into the sector.
  • If you are retired but not quite ready to put your feet up, we’d really value your experience and time.
  • If you are looking for work or want to get back into work after a break, volunteering is a great way to show potential employers that you are reliable and we can support you to develop your skills and confidence.

What do our volunteers do?

Volunteering roles at Devon Partnership NHS Trust are varied, interesting and rewarding. Our volunteers help with a wide range of tasks including:

  • Ward Buddies – befriending, talking and listening to patients
  • Recreational activities with patients such as arts, crafts, reading and playing games
  • Breakfast Club support
  • Horticultural Support
  • Reading Group
  • Pastoral and spiritual care
  • Administration
  • Carer Engagement
  • Pets as Therapy - Enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals. Provide a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues all across the UK.

  • Have you previously used TALKWORKS, or do you know someone who has? Would you like to have a voice in the development of our service and contribute towards the work of the NHS? Find out more about volunteering opportunities.

How do I apply to be a volunteer?

Please see our website for our current volunteer opportunities and apply online. Find out more in our volunteer leaflet or fill out our form.

If have any other questions about volunteering, or are unable to apply online, please contact dpn-tr.DPTVolunteers@nhs.net or visit www.dpt.nhs.uk

Join our Volunteering webinar

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I start volunteering straight away?

No. Unfortunately you can't. Patient and public safety is important to the organisation, so all volunteers must go through our selection process, provide suitable references, complete DBS (criminal record) and occupational health checks and also attend the necessary training.

Do all applicants get accepted for volunteering?

Each stage of the application and selection process is assessed according to our organisation policy. Therefore all applicants must go through our selection process to ensure they are suitable for the role applied for. We will also need to receive satisfactory clearances like suitable references, DBS (disclosure and barring service, formerly known as a CRB) and occupational health checks. You will also attend the necessary training before you can volunteer in Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Will I have an interview?

Yes, we have interviews for all roles. There may be an additional one-to-one discussion for some roles to ensure you are suited for the task at hand.

What training will I receive?

There are specific training sessions (covered in your induction) that all volunteers need to complete before you start volunteering. You will also have a local induction on your ward or in your department on the day you start.

I am a student, can I apply?

We do accept students over the age of 18, but we want you to have a positive volunteering experience within Devon Partnership NHS Trust, therefore please consider carefully whether you will be able to commit to this role whilst studying as well.

Are there any legal requirements when volunteering?

You must be legally entitled to work in the UK to apply to become one of our volunteers. For more information on Visa and eligibility to volunteer, please enquire with the UK Border Agency directly.

Can I volunteer for a short time over the holidays only?

To provide stability and consistency for our patients, we require all our volunteers to commit to a minimum of 2 hours a week over a 6 month period.

Can I claim travel expenses?

We do not expect volunteers to be out of pocket. All volunteers are encouraged to claim expenses.

Any travel in excess of 5 miles from your home to your place of volunteering may be claimed – this must be agreed by your Volunteer Manager prior to claiming.

Volunteers will be offered reasonable out of pocket expenses for travel between one site where volunteering is taking place and another site if required, for example, to attend training.

Will you provide me with a reference?

We are happy to give you a reference when you have volunteered consistently for six months. It is our organisational policy to only provide factual references; we do not provide character references.

View more resources for volunteers

Supporting you at every step

We know that volunteering in a team and having the right support available is important to providing the best quality care for people using our services, as well as being important for your own health and wellbeing. Our mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity cover the whole of Devon with opportunities in our community and inpatient settings.

Local information

Local information - Exeter City Narrow Street - Devon Partnership Trust Jobs

Famous for

Exeter has the narrowest street in the world – Parliament Street. It’s very narrow - 0.64 metres! And 1.22 metres wide. In 1836 residents paid to have the street widened – the council have yet to do it.

Local information - Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary - Devon Partnership Trust Jobs

Areas of interest

Devon is home to the Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth in East Devon. It’s free to visit the many donkeys living here and there’s a restaurant on site and donkey themed gift shop – making it a great day out.



Devon has many wonderful beaches, whether that's the rugged coast of North Devon, famous for surfing, or its more gentle east and south coast where paddle boarding and kite surfing, amongst other activities are extremely popular.