Woman with a pram walking past grafitti with the words The Best Gift is You

As 750,000 of you have already signed up for the Government’s NHS Volunteer Responders call, you may well be one of them. As well as doing something of value to your local community, and directly affecting the individuals you will be helping, you’ll also gain some sought after skills to take with you when you are looking for future work.  

The NHS cite examples of what your duties might be including:

  • Delivering medicines from pharmacies.
  • Driving patients to appointments.
  • Phoning those isolating at home to give them comfort and a friendly voice to speak to. 

'I’m only doing my bit', you might say, but within a CV or job application, you can use your experiences to your advantage, especially if they were ones you previously had little experience of. 

Some of the transferable skills you might gain during your time as a NHS Volunteer Responder include:

  • Verbal Communication - part of your job will involve speaking to people to others, and you must make sure that you are clear and that people can understand what you are saying. 
  • Customer Service - by becoming a volunteer, you will already have shown employers that you think it’s important to actively look for ways to help people. Especially if your day-to-day job doesn’t involve interacting with people a great deal, you’ll also learn to become aware of others’ reactions and understand why they react as they do, as well as adjust your actions in relation to others’ responses. 
  • Organisation - you have to make sure that you give the right medicine to the right person and that people attend their appointments on time. This needs organisation, planning and time management.
  • Emotional Intelligence - the people that you work with will need different things from you, and have their own interpretation of how you should act, whether it’s being overly cautious, motherly, or calm. It’s your job to understand what attitude best suits each person.
  • Self-management - you’ll have to fit in your volunteering role around all the other responsibilities you have, whether you are still working full-time or are home schooling your children. 
  • Social and Cultural Awareness - volunteering is a great way to gain a better understanding of how other people in your community live, especially if they are of a different background or age to yourself. You’ll be able to talk to people about the experiences they’ve lived through and the hardships they may face, which will help in many careers where you might encounter people from different walks of life to yourself. 
  • Initiative - by becoming a volunteer you’ve shown that you are a self-motivated person who is willing to take initiative. This is an attitude which all companies are looking for in their staff!