RUH thanks volunteers

Bob the Dog was one attendee at a party at the Royal United Hospitals (Bath) NHS Foundation Trust to celebrate volunteers.

The National Volunteers’ Week 2024 event was a way to thank all those who give their time. In 2023, 250 people volunteered with the RUH, ranging from 16-year-olds up to people in their 80s. Together, they gave 21,000 hours of time – with 71 individuals helping for more than 100 hours each. 

The volunteers offer practical and emotional support to those at all stages of a hospital journey, from the Welcome Volunteers in the Atrium who help visitors find their way around, to the Dorothy House Compassionate Companions who sit with end-of-life patients to ensure they are not alone.

Others serve cake and gifts in the ‘Friends of the RUH’ café and Atrium shop, or help with the gardening. Some also assist with specialist services, such as the spiritual care volunteers and breastfeeding peer supporters.

Canine volunteers like Bob are known as ‘Pets as Therapy’ (PAT) dogs, who along with their volunteer owners, visit staff and patients throughout the hospital. 

The volunteers don’t just support in the hospital: many also help the hospital charity, RUHX, with fundraising events.

The RUH also supports volunteers considering a career in healthcare. Run in collaboration with St John’s Ambulance, the NHS Cadets programme aims to widen access to health volunteering for young people, particularly those who might not have traditionally experienced these opportunities.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at the RUH can find out more on the RUH website.