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Befriending at Cheltenham General Hospital - U6th

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Cheltenham College U6th students currently volunteer on a weekly basis at Cheltenham Hospital.

The Hospital offers our students the opportunity to interact and engage with patients on the wards, and help out with general ward duties.

Upper 6th College students attend on a weekly basis currently in the role of 'Befriending'.  This takes place on the wards and the role involves, talking to patients and helping at meal times.  Other activities include sharing of news, as well as helping with weekly menu choices.



To provide opportunities to students where they are exposed to the needs of patients in hospital and learn sensitive and effective communication skills. To broaden students' awareness of the different roles found in hospitals.

Success depends on students being sufficiently trained in order to fulfill the needs of patients, ward staff and visitors.

Beneficiaries include the patients in particular, who we hope enjoy our visits and look forward to them.

Students will benefit in terms developing people skills; dealing with individuals in difficult times; future medical students will gain from seeing the variety of roles/departments that function within the hospital environment.


College identified that becoming involved with the local community through the hospital would present a valuable volunteering opportunity for our U6th students, and would hopefully benefit all those assosicated with the hospital.

The opportunity was identified through discussions with James Stubbert and Dr Dunning with the hospital during the Summer 2017.

The volunteering partnership started in October 2017 and has been positively acknowledged by both parties since.  Now in its third year the partnership continues to evelove and develop. 


To ensure the project is successful there will always be an induction to the programme, followed by hospital induction to individual roles within the hospital. 


The project will be reviewed on a yearly basis, with regular interim meetings to discuss general progress.

Pupil Involvement

This volunteering initiative is available to Upper 6th pupils.


The pupils visit the Wards once a week throughout the academic year.

It is anticipated that this will be an on-going opportunity offered to U6th pupil each year.