Helpforce is working with Third Sector Support Wales (WCVA and the 19 CVCs), Welsh Government and other partners to develop the potential of volunteering to support health and social services.


What is Helpforce?
From its groundbreaking inception, Sir William Beveridge and Aneurin Bevan envisioned the NHS as a place where volunteers and communities would play an active role.

Inspired by this vision, Helpforce began in England in 2017 and is working to develop a unified and integrated approach to volunteering in healthcare settings across the UK. Helpforce is demonstrating the positive impact that volunteers can have on patients, on staff and services as well as on volunteers themselves.

'At Helpforce we believe that when we harness the power of dedicated and caring volunteers we can create a more compassionate care system for all of us'. (Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Founder and Chair of Helpforce)

Helpforce Cymru
Helpforce Cymru began in 2019 and is a two year project with support from the National Lottery Community Fund UK, NHS Wales and Helpforce UK. It is working with Third Sector Support Wales, Welsh Government and other partners to develop the potential of volunteering to support health and social care services.

The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act and A Healthier Wales provide the strategic framework for Helpforce in Wales. They embed the principles of preventative action, co-production, citizen involvement, collaborative working, innovation and seek new models of working to transform and integrate our health and social services.

Helpforce is an opportunity to highlight, develop and plan for effective volunteer involvement in hospital and community settings.

The Helpforce Cymru steering group includes representation from Welsh Government, NHS Nursing and volunteering leadership, County Voluntary Councils, third sector partners, Social Care Wales and Health Education Improvement Wales.

Our aims
Helpforce Cymru is working with partners on a range of activities which contribute to achieving the following longterm aims

  • readiness and capability for effective volunteer involvement
  • volunteering integrated and resourced within remodelled health and social care services
  • impactful volunteering which benefits patients, service users, staff and volunteers
  • culture of continuous improvement through learning and sharing networks
  • more robust evidence to support strategic volunteering interventions

What we are doing

  • Seeking to hold strategic conversations, including with unions, clinical leads
  • Supporting pilot interventions eg in volunteering and end of life care
  • Reviewing the evidence base for volunteering in health and social care, with a seminar for researchers, planners and practitioners
  • Supporting Helpforce development of national induction standards for volunteering in health and care
  • Providing strategic development support to enhance the impact of volunteering
  • Identifying exemplary practice which positively impacts on health and social services, and sharing these as case studies

You can download the lastest Helpforce Wales newsletter here.

If you would like more details about Helpforce activities, learning opportunities and resources contact Fiona Liddell, Helpforce Cymru Manager Wales to be added to our Helpforce Cymru mailing list.

Volunteering-implications for the health and social care workforce strategy August 2019
Introducing a revised volunteering charter July 2019 
Cultivating volunteering innovation June 2019
Time to celebrate Volunteers' Week and the launch of Helpforce in Wales May 2019

Case Studies
Red Kite volunteers at Powys Teaching Health Board October 2019
Positive Steps with Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service September 2019
Volunteering for Wellbeing in Monmouthshire August 2019
Building up volunteering to support healthcare in Wales August 2019
Volunteering in A and E at Hywel Dda University Health Board August 2019
Education Programme for Patients Patients volunteer to help patients June 2019 
Royal Voluntary Service-volunteers improving mobility and wellbeing of older patients May 2019

Reviewing resources in Health and Social Care September 2019
Skilled volunteers in the NHS? August 2019
Testing new standards for induction of volunteers in health and social care May 2019
Volunteering to tackle loneliness November 2018
Building up volunteering to support healthcare in Wales - early conversations about Helpforce in Wales. June 2018
Volunteering and public Service in Wales - Sandy Clubb. A vision paper developed by Volunteering Wales Network and presented at Gofod 3 in March 2018. January 2018