Please note new office telephone number: 01323 749 503

Volunteering opportunities

There are so many volunteering opportunities both inside and
outside of the hospital, so if you’d like to join us we have a role for

Whether you have great practical, personal or organisational skills, or want to volunteer to meet people, stay active, add to your CV or simply help the hospital, then we have something that suits. We always have voluntary positions available, so do get in touch if you think that you would like to join us and tell us what you’d like to do.

Volunteering opportunities inside the hospital

The Main Shop

An often-essential service for patients, visitors and staff, the Main Shop is situated in the foyer of the hospital. It is headed by a shop manager, Rai Hitchen and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers. The shop sells a wide variety of items – including the essentials for a stay in hospital, as well as food and drinks, plus gifts, cards, books and seasonal items. It is open seven days a week.

No previous experience of shop work is required to volunteer in the shop as on the job training is provided. For this voluntary role it is important to be a team player, with good communication skills and common sense; a good sense of humour is always an asset.

Volunteers work a morning, afternoon or early evening session either in the shop or behind the scenes. The shifts are:

Weekdays: 9am – 12:30pm; 12:30pm – 4.30pm;

Sat: 10am – 3pm

Sunday: 11am – 3pm

Currently, we are particularly short of volunteers at the weekend, so if you have three hours to spare on a Saturday or Sunday please do mention this when you call!

The Trolley Service

A great way to get your daily steps in, we’re reliably informed the trolley service covers 2 miles of the hospital across the shift.

Invaluable for staff and patients who can’t leave the wards, a Sandwich Trolley goes out every morning, seven days a week providing food, drinks and papers; and in the afternoon, a second trolley service does the rounds with drinks, toiletries, confectionery, magazines, newspapers, soft toys and stationery.

Each trolley is manned by two volunteers, and not only are these volunteers providing a much appreciated service, they are also raising the profile of the Friends of Eastbourne Hospital in a very positive way.

If you are a people person with good common sense and a sense of humor this could be the voluntary role for you. Volunteers work in pairs and come in to load up the morning trolley at 8.30am, for an approximate 3-hour shift, and in the afternoon at 1pm, for a shift of approximately 2.5 hours.

The Corner Shop (also known as the Staff Shop)

This shop is situated at the back of the hospital adjacent to the St Mary’s Suite. As the name suggests, due to location, its customers are predominately members of staff and it can consequently be a quieter shift than in the Main Shop. It is open from 9am – 3pm Monday to Friday and sells a similar array of goods as the main shop but on a smaller scale. It’s run by volunteers under the supervision of the Main Shop Manager. Volunteers work either a morning or an afternoon shift.

The Radiotherapy Cafe and Macmillan Information Area

The Radiotherapy Centre opened in 2017 and provides treatment for patients from across East Sussex. Treatment here includes diagnostic investigations, chemotherapy, surgical procedures, and radiotherapy. People receiving a cancer diagnosis will often have lots of questions about the illness and proposed treatments, and it is therefore vital there is somewhere safe, visible, accessible and trustworthy where they can talk to someone and find things out. Family, friends and people who are worried about cancer may also need information and support, or simply somewhere to wait for their loved ones during procedures.

The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital opened the Coffee Shop and Macmillan Cancer Support Information Area in response to this need.

By volunteering in the newly developed Friends Coffee Shop and Macmillan Information area, you would be primarily providing a coffee and snack shop for patients, visitors and staff, but also helping healthcare professionals signpost cancer patients and their loved ones to the support and information they need as well.

Key tasks in this voluntary role would include serving food and drinks, but also welcoming visitors to this area of the hospital and helping to put them at ease, and to find appropriate information/leaflets of local support services available. Where enquiries may be more complex, you would be given the information which helps you to refer people back to the relevant healthcare professionals.

It is a quiet cafe, and as a volunteer there, key skills would include good communication skills, empathy and initiative. The cafe is open from 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Volunteering opportunities outside the hospital

Open Gardens

Every year between May and July the Friends of Eastbourne Hospital are very lucky to have permission to open between 8 -10 private gardens to members of the public. The Open Garden Team organises everything to do with the day, from putting up the signposts to selling plants, refreshments and remade cards.

The Open Gardens are tremendously popular with the public and do a fantastic job enhancing awareness of the Charity and raising money in such pleasant surroundings.

You can either volunteer to join the team who help organise the events or, if you have a beautiful garden, you could open it to the public for the day. If you are interested either in volunteering, or in opening your garden for the charity, please do get in touch.

Christmas Coffee Morning

This is a pre-Christmas fund raiser held at a local church hall providing the usual mix of craft, produce and gift stalls to tempt the Christmas shoppers. There is always a raffle and of course, refreshments.

Volunteers are needed to help to set up and organise the event, sell raffle tickets, provide refreshments and man the stalls.

This volunteering opportunity would suit someone who is not able to make a regular commitment but nevertheless enjoys being part of a team and meeting new people.

One-off Events

There are many one-off events that take place each year such as the Tennis Tournament. Keep an eye on the Events page for more details and get in touch if you see something you’d like to help with, or if you have an idea for an event of your own!

Join us at one our upcoming events

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Opening Times

Our office is manned Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm.


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Charity Number: 220592

Address: Friends Office,
District General Hospital
Kings Drive,
BN21 2UD

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