If you’re aged 16 to 23 and in post-secondary education, St Wilfrid’s Young Clinical Volunteer (YCV) programme is a fantastic way to gain valuable clinical experience in a hospice setting. 

The YCV scheme is a six-month programme for young people interested in a career in clinical practice. As a YCV you’ll be working with our nurses and healthcare professionals on our Inpatient Unit as they provide practical and emotional support to our patients and their families. 

To support you in your role, you will receive initial training, access to e-learning and you’ll be linked up with a mentor for ongoing support and supervision. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded the St Wilfrid’s Hospice YCV Certificate - which incorporates the 15 Standards of Care - and a reference that you can use on future UCAS or job applications. 

Previous YCVs have said the scheme’s improved their confidence, helped them learn new skills - and in some cases, changed their life - but don’t just take our word for it, here’s what they had to say!

Aidan

‘I've learnt so many real-life skills, like chatting, making tea, emptying bedpans, cleaning, feeding, answering call bells - the list goes on. Some I knew a little about before I volunteered on the In Patient Unit here, but a lot I didn't!

‘Some skills have had a massive impact on my life: things like growing the confidence to enter a patient’s room and ask if they’re okay. 

‘I've been looked after here by the staff and it's given me the courage to be there and ensure patients are comfortable, if they have had any bowel movements and being there to hold their hand when they cry out in pain and need that human touch. 

‘I've been there for their relatives, too, listening to their worries and sharing their thoughts. 

‘Seeing a dead body for the first time was tough but it taught me to respect life at all stages and keep ensuring people are looked after, treated with respect and love whenever they're here at St Wilfrid's.

‘Before I'd joined St Wilfrid's, I had never even thought about any of these as things that happened, let alone things I could handle or would be doing in the time I spend here. 

‘Yet, the hands-on tasks and the responsibility I’m given make me feel like my time working as a YCV was a privilege.

I will always cherish the time I spent at St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Keir

‘I joined the YCV programme as I wanted to gain experience for uni and possibly pursue medicine. The idea of learning skills that would be helpful for this was very appealing and helping people was something I couldn’t say ‘no’ to! 

‘It’s been great to work with the nurses, doctors and the whole team - chatting with the catering team or learning new skills with the junior doctors. It’s so useful to have these skills in the role and it has given me confidence. 

The thing I enjoy the most, though, is keeping patients company at their bedside; that has been a revelation to me and it’s given me confidence even when it’s been really tough!

‘Some of the challenging interactions with patients have made me learn ways of overcoming smaller obstacles independently and collaborating with the team to defeat bigger challenges. 

‘My absolute favourite moments have been with older patients and talking with them through their stay – that’s been very memorable and will stick with me.

‘It’s a great opportunity to acquire new skills that are hard to obtain elsewhere and it has helped me focus on my career path. It’s a lovely place to work and it’s been a surprise that it’s so warm and welcoming.’ 

Nour

'Volunteering at St Wilfrid’s has opened my eyes to what it means to help people with varying needs in the hospice.

I had been visiting one lady each week who was very near the end of her life; one evening she told me how happy she was to see me. It made me realise that I am not the only one benefitting from what I am doing.


The deadline for applications to the YCV programme is midday on 20th August. Click here to apply.