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Wyke College students embrace new NHS volunteering project

Wyke College students have welcomed a new project offering volunteering opportunities in healthcare facilities across Hull and East Riding. 

The ‘Young Health Champions Together’ project, created by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with City Health Care Partnership (CHCP) will offer students the opportunity to gain valuable insight into different areas and specialisms on offer in the health sector. 

Angelina who has booked to volunteer as part of the project said: “I decided to join the programme because I knew I was interested in medicine but was uncertain about what path I wanted to take. So I thought volunteering in an actual ward would help.” 

Ala said: “I found out about the NHS volunteering programme through a talk given by one of the organisers. I was excited to hear about it and I look forward to starting my volunteering experience which starts soon.” 

Another student who wants to volunteer on the cardiothoracic ward to explore the various roles available in the NHS said: “I hope to develop skills like confidence, effective communication and responsibility, all of which are valuable for my future career in the NHS.” 

Sixty students from Wyke College will be the first to take part in this unique project, and are expected to commit six months to the programme and undertake four hours of volunteer work each week.   

Students are not limited to volunteering in the hospital setting alone, however. With CHCP’s involvement in the project, students will have the option to volunteer in community-based healthcare facilities such as community hospitals and care facilities too. 

Rachael Hardcastle-Pearce, Lead Voluntary Services Manager for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“This collaboration represents an exciting milestone in our ongoing efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for young people. The students are going to take away amazing life skills, it’ll help with their confidence and open their eyes to the world of health: since a lot of them already aspire to work in health, we’re hoping this will just cement that desire.  

“The good thing is they can do this in their own time, without losing out on schoolwork. Another thing for us at Hull Hospitals, which is amazing, is that a lot of our Young Health Champion volunteers go on to our apprenticeships, so this really could be the first stepping stone to a career in health.”  

The Young Health Champion Volunteer programme for 16-25-year-olds has been operating successfully within Hull Hospitals for a decade now, delivering a proven model that has yielded powerful outcomes.  

Many volunteers have either gone on to university or to pursue careers in healthcare across the Yorkshire region.  

The Youth Health Champions Together project builds on this success, seeking to enrich the volunteer experience while equipping young people for future healthcare roles.  

Gemma Hayes-Logan, Head of Careers and Skills at Wyke College said: “The NHS Volunteers programme creates opportunities for students to make a meaningful impact whilst shaping the future of healthcare together. 

“Being a Health Champion can open doors to a bright future in the NHS. It could be that essential addition to the student’s UCAS statement and job application that sets them apart from the crowd.” 

By creating opportunities for college students to volunteer within hospital settings and in the community, both HUTH and CHCP hope to bridge the gap between education and real-world experience while simultaneously growing the city’s own future workforce. 

Emma Johnson, Volunteer & Work Placement Lead, CHCP said: “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting new partnership with Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and City Health Care Partnership CIC. For young people volunteering is often the first step towards an exciting and varied career in health care. This programme aims to enhance the volunteer offer and provide collaborative working within health care in Hull and East Riding offering an experience in both a hospital and community setting.

“This fantastic opportunity provides a valuable experience of volunteering in a health care environment, the Young Health Champions Together Programme enables participants to develop skills and build confidence to better prepare them on their chosen future career in health.”

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