Young Volunteers in Health and Social Care

This is a new and updated version of our toolkit to help health and social care organisations engage with young people as volunteers. We hope it will help you to adapt and improve the impact and inclusiveness of what you already do, and that you will find inspiration to set up new and ambitious volunteering and social action initiatives with and for children and young people. The toolkit is designed to foster and support your work through practical advice, easy to follow guidance and inspirational case studies.


We are delighted that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has given his support to the Toolkit with the following foreword.

The Right Honourable Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care:

“We all care deeply about our NHS and our health and social care services. Volunteers have long played a crucial role in supporting the NHS to care for patients and deliver services and were rightly celebrated as part of the NHS’ 70th birthday. The Department for Health and Social Care, alongside NHS England and Public Health England are keen to ensure that everyone is able to meaningfully engage in health and social care; for example, over £2 million is being provided to fund Helpforce, which is a programme to build an infrastructure for volunteering in the NHS and provide a model of support for all those who volunteer.

Growing the breadth of opportunities for younger people to participate in volunteering and social action in health and social care will help to inspire a new generation of health and care professionals, and means our services better reflect and engage their communities. It empowers them to stay healthy and help those close to them stay health too. It can offer additional support to health and care providers, and can improve patient experience.

We have worked with Volunteering Matters, the #iwill campaign, and the National Association of Volunteering Service Managers to share learning to help unlock and grow opportunities for young people to make a positive difference in health and social care.

I would like to congratulate Volunteering Matters and partners for their work in creating this toolkit. The second edition, refreshed with updated learning and new case studies, provides organisations with inspiration and guidance to offer and develop high-quality volunteering and social action opportunities.

When young people take part in meaningful social action there’s a double benefit – they develop and improve their own confidence, skills and wellbeing, whilst making a positive difference in their communities. Simply put, everyone benefits.

The Department for Health and Social Care continues to support the #iwill campaign and will work with partners to ensure more young people are empowered to make a positive difference in health and social care.”


The Toolkit was produced by Volunteering Matters, the #iwill campaign and National Association of Voluntary Services Managers (NAVSM), with funding and support from the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement.

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