NHS Sports Volunteering
Overview of the role
*This role is open exclusively to current University of Leeds Psychology students only.
Our NHS sports volunteering project sees students deployed to the Newsam Centre (near to Seacroft Hospital) to deliver sports activities to service users as part of the NHS ‘Recovery College’ programme. This is a programme of activities and workshops for adults aged 18-65 who are currently undergoing hospital treatment for a range of mental health conditions. The programme aims to provide service users with the opportunity to be physically active as well as support them to develop their skills and confidence. The programme will be delivered on four wards in the 24-25 academic year and will include both male and female wards.
Service users on the men’s ward are generally admitted from the community or other mental health services and the service aims to support individuals to move safely and effectively into community living or step-down services. On the women’s ward, service users are admitted from the community and also prisons. Some of the client group have been admitted for assessment and are therefore at a higher level of acuity and need more support, whilst others are approaching discharge following treatment.
As an NHS Sports Volunteer you will engage service users in sport and physical activity to help improve their health and wellbeing and reduce sedentary behaviours. You would plan and deliver sports activities to service users demonstrating flexibility and adaptability to meet with their needs, as well as offer social conversation and assistance under the direct supervision of NHS staff. Recovery College activities take place every Wednesday afternoon so you would be deployed within this time scale for an agreed period of time. Traditional sporting activities such as football, basketball, tennis & badminton are delivered outdoors and you will receive sports leadership training prior to your deployment to help you gain confidence in this area. This project will be challenging but also fun and rewarding. You will be helping people in Leeds to live more active, fulfilling lives as well as broadening your own horizons and developing your skills.
Duties and responsibilities
- Commit to deliver one Recovery College session per week for an agreed period of time (10-12 weeks across the academic year on a rota basis November-May). Sessions will take place on Wednesday afternoons
- Lead fun, inclusive sports activities at Recovery College with the support and supervision of staff on site
- Represent the University & Leeds Sport in a positive manner
- Maintain open lines of communication with the Leeds Sport & NHS teams
- Engage with service users in a fun, friendly, open minded and sensitive fashion whilst maintaining the boundaries of your role
- Treat service users with dignity and respect at all times
- Attend all training required for the role in line with the Leeds Sport & NHS minimum deployment guidelines
- Hold all information you come into contact with during the course of your deployment in the strictest confidence
- Liaise directly with the NHS team about any concerns for the wellbeing, health or safety of any service user or yourself
Skills & experience required
- You must be a current University of Leeds Psychology student
- You do not need prior coaching experience, sports qualifications or a background in sport as full training will be provided
- A passion for community social action and helping and supporting others
- Excellent people skills and an ability to put people at ease
- Be willing and able to engage with the programme in its entirety including induction, training and weekly commitment to Recovery College for an agreed period of time
- Enthusiasm & energy
- Reliable, trustworthy, open-minded and sensitive to the needs of the service users
- An empathic, patient manner and excellent listening skills
- Responsible awareness of and respect for other perspectives and sensitivities
- Be willing and able to observe all of the NHS trust policies and procedures at all times
- Be able to recognise and adhere to the boundaries and limitations of the role at all times
Communication, Team Working, Leadership, Flexibility, Planning & Organisation, Independent working, Time management, Befriending, Supporting & Motivating others.
Training & support
We want you to have the very best volunteering experience with us; therefore we take care to ensure you get the training and support you need to carry out your role including:
- An informal individual interview with Leeds Sport staff members as well as an information session with NHS staff during the application process to discuss the role and your suitability in more detail
- An on-site induction to the NHS and the Newsam Centre covering a variety of issues ahead of your deployment
- Sports Leadership training delivered by the University of Leeds incorporating training in the key sports we plan to deliver
- Regular mentoring, observations and supervision with the Leeds Sport & NHS teams
Any further training and support needs will be discussed with the Sports Volunteering Officer, who will be your main point of contact.
Reward & recognition
The time and skills that you provide are invaluable and we make every effort to ensure you feel appreciated in your role. Leeds Sport is invested in retaining volunteers and ensuring their volunteering is a supportive, high-quality experience working to the common aims of growing university sport and developing students skills. All NHS Sports Volunteers will be eligible for the following:
- A uniform in the form of a Leeds Sport Leadership t-shirt to wear during your sessions
- Access to all training required to complete the role
- Volunteer of the month awards
- Travel expenses for the duration of your deployment
- References from our staff team
Ideally you will be able to commit to all of the minimum required training for the role in line with the Leeds Sport & NHS minimum deployment guidelines (approximately 10 hours). During the course of your deployment you will also be able to commit 2-3 hours per week, on a Wednesday afternoon for an agreed period of time (10-12 sessions across the academic year on a rota basis), consisting of a minimum of 60 mins delivery on site, travel to and from sessions and administration/ planning time. If you are likely to find this commitment difficult, please speak Rachel Wilson (Schools & Community Outreach Coordinator) who will be able to discuss this in more detail.
- NHS Sports Volunteers are responsible to Rachel Wilson (Schools & Community Outreach Coordinator) in the Leeds Sport Team and Caroline Agnew (Placement & Development Officer) and Samantha O’Dowd, the Volunteer & Engagement Officer within the NHS team
- This role will require a DBS check, 2 references and an occupational health assessment
- We currently have 20 NHS Sports Volunteer roles available for 2024-25 academic year
- Online applications for this role are now OPEN and will close on 31st March 2024.
- For all successful candidates there will be an onsite induction in October 2024 (timings & exact date tbc) and a mandatory training sports session
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the role in more detail, please email Rachel at: R.J.Harrison1@leeds.ac.uk
If you wish to apply for any of our Leeds Sport volunteering positions please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in contact with you.