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Lack of references/Mental health issues affecting my ability to volunteer?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm hoping to volunteer on the wards of my local hospital as I'm wishing to apply to a "Pathway to Medicine" course which would require "shadowing" and volunteering in a clinical setting. My issue is that I've had massive gaps in my employment history due to being out of work due to low mood and the most recent work I was only able to stick it a month before I just repeatedly started calling in sick (and so I never heard from my previous employer ever again).

I'm terrified that because of these gaps, the volunteer service at the hospital will think I'm not suitable/not committed to spending my time volunteering, or even when I apply to the pre-medicine course that they would think the same.

I was wondering if any one else has had a similar experience and how they explained it? And whether any one has any advice on what references I could give rather than my most recent employer (as I can imagine they'll rightly point out I'm useless and unreliable).

I'd appreciate any advice.

Comments

  • AndyAndy Moderator Posts: 185 Settling in
    Nietzsche wrote: »
    I'm hoping to volunteer on the wards of my local hospital as I'm wishing to apply to a "Pathway to Medicine" course which would require "shadowing" and volunteering in a clinical setting. My issue is that I've had massive gaps in my employment history due to being out of work due to low mood and the most recent work I was only able to stick it a month before I just repeatedly started calling in sick (and so I never heard from my previous employer ever again).

    I'm terrified that because of these gaps, the volunteer service at the hospital will think I'm not suitable/not committed to spending my time volunteering, or even when I apply to the pre-medicine course that they would think the same.

    I was wondering if any one else has had a similar experience and how they explained it? And whether any one has any advice on what references I could give rather than my most recent employer (as I can imagine they'll rightly point out I'm useless and unreliable).

    I'd appreciate any advice.

    Hi Nietzsche (great username by the way),

    It's great you're looking for volunteer roles, volunteering can be a real confidence booster and can offer great experience in loads of different areas. Whilst we don't know the hospital's volunteer recruitment process so we can't say for sure, here at YouthNet we don't ask for Employment History or really in depth CVs, and certainly wouldn't consider employment history when looking for volunteers. Organisations want volunteers that can offer a commitment and look to fulfil the role as well as ensuring that the volunteer themselves have a really positive experience, ensuring that volunteers tell their friends is great for recruiting more volunteers, so whilst its ok to feel a bit apprehensive, remember that the organisation probably wants you just as much as you want to volunteer for them.

    If you've got any other questions about starting volunteering or getting started or if you're worried about anything like this, feel free to come and ask.

    Do let us know how you get on.

    Andy - Volunteering Development Manager at YouthNet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The hospital requires a full CV plus a personal statement supporting the reason why I wish to volunteer. whereby they then meet me for an "informal chat" and I fill out an application form. I also have to undergo a Criminal Disclousre before being able to volunteer.

    So far they have yet to send the email address I need in order to send the personal statement, I guess I'm just on edge about it as it seems like quite a complicated recruitment process for a volunteer role, though I guess it is required.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is an involved proceeds but for working 1 to 1 with vulnerable people it's necessary
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I volunteer with severely disabled children and not once was I asked about my mental health. I told the team leader as I wanted to explain my scars etc but the only thing that really matters is your crb check. You don't have to go into depth about mental health, lots of people have time off work due to stress or depression. You just have to explain the basics, and explain you are responding well to treatment and feeling much more confident now than in the past.
  • AndyAndy Moderator Posts: 185 Settling in
    Nietzsche wrote: »
    The hospital requires a full CV plus a personal statement supporting the reason why I wish to volunteer. whereby they then meet me for an "informal chat" and I fill out an application form. I also have to undergo a Criminal Disclousre before being able to volunteer.

    So far they have yet to send the email address I need in order to send the personal statement, I guess I'm just on edge about it as it seems like quite a complicated recruitment process for a volunteer role, though I guess it is required.

    Totally understand that it can feel like quite a complicated process and put you a bit on edge but that process sounds like the hospital is doing their volunteer recruitment really thoroughly, and that can only be a good thing. As piccolo said if volunteering 1 to 1 with vulnerable people this kind of process is necessary. The informal chat will be just that, an informal chat to find out if the opportunity and organisation is right for you and if you can offer the required commitment to them.

    Let us know how you get on.
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