Volunteer with us

Two volunteers in uniform smiling on the front steps of the Women's
Volunteers at the Women's keep patients at the heart of everything we do

Volunteers at the Women's contribute to creating exceptional experiences for patients and visitors.

Volunteers deliver non-clinical front-line services, designed to complement exceptional patient experience. The Women’s Volunteer Program is part of the People and Patient Experience Directorate.

We play a key role in enhancing the experience of patients and visitors by championing person-centred service and harnessing the energy of skilled patient-centred volunteers.

Volunteers are an integral and valued part of our hospital. Volunteers operate across many areas of the hospital, and as our patients’ needs evolve, so too does our range of volunteer activities.

We work with the community to attract the right volunteer skills and expertise to expand and diversify our support.

The Women’s Volunteer Program aligns with the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement, the Victorian Volunteer Strategy 2022-2027 and the National Strategy for Volunteering 2023-2033.

The Women’s Volunteer Program is committed to creating an environment that values diversity, promotes an inclusive culture and establishes a sense of belonging for everyone in our community. 

Find out more about volunteering at the Women's through our My Impact webpage: 

Applying to volunteer

Volunteer roles at the Women's

Current Women’s volunteer programs include:

Patient and Visitor Support Volunteer Program

The Patient and Visitor Support Volunteer Program evolved from our award-winning Guide and Waitroom Support Volunteer Program. See: Women's volunteers take home innovation award. 

Patient and Visitor Support Volunteers play a vital role in ensuring that our community’s experience of our care is warm, approachable, friendly, compassionate and professional.

Actively moving around the hospital, Patient and Visitor Support Volunteers help patients and visitors to:

  • navigate the hospital
  • access their appointments, and
  • feel safe, cared for and comfortable during their time at the Women’s.

Two Patient and Visitor Support Volunteers per shift operate separately and independently, supporting patients through providing support, advice, and information, and helping them to access the right service at the Women’s.

They are easily recognised by their volunteer uniform and are often the first point of contact for newcomers to the hospital.

Welcome Desk Volunteer Program

The Welcome Desk Volunteer Program operates at the lower-ground floor entrance to the Women’s, and provides support to patients and visitors entering and leaving the building.

Welcome Desk Volunteers partner with the Information Desk, Patient and Visitor Support Volunteers, and other service areas to ensure that patients’ experience on entering and leaving the hospital is warm, friendly, and psychologically safe.

Welcome Desk Volunteers play a key role in helping patients and visitors to feel welcome, cared for and comfortable.

They support people through:

  • providing assistance, advice, and information to help get to the right service at the Women’s
  • providing a comfortable waiting space for those waiting for transport; and
  • facilitating a comfortable and supported exit for those leaving the hospital.
NICU Volunteer Program

The NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Volunteer Program is aligned with the NICU family-centred model of care which is built around keeping mothers and babies together and recognising that family members are integral to their infant’s care.

NICU Volunteers contribute to the comfort and support of families during their stay by:

  • providing a helping hand to caregivers when needed
  • contributing to consistent support by supporting the whole family,
  • and being available to settle, soothe and comfort babies at times when family cannot be present.

NICU Volunteers are part of our multi-disciplinary NICU care team.

Visiting Volunteer Programs

The Women’s is very fortunate to have valued partnerships with community organisations that provide specialised volunteer support to our patients.

Current Visiting Volunteer Programs include:

Counterpart Bridge of Support

Bridge of Support is a peer support program supporting women with cancer. It is run by Counterpart 

Highly skilled, compassionate Counterpart volunteers support patients by sharing experiences and challenges that they have in common.

They understand what it is like to be a woman who has cancer, as they have all had a cancer diagnosis of their own.

In 2023, Counterpart volunteers visited 45 women diagnosed with cancer at the Women’s.

Many of the patients continued to receive follow-up peer support from Counterpart, receiving emotional and practical support as they went through treatment.

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s foremost charity dedicated to providing support, friendship and information specifically tailored for families of premature or sick babies.

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation hosts regular events and activities at the Women’s, providing compassionate and informed support for families currently in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Education and information for parents is:

  • crucial to getting the best possible outcomes for premature and sick babies 
  • empowers families and
  • enables them to become their child’s advocate. 

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation supports families in NICU, and in the community when families go home.

In 2023, Life’s Little Treasures volunteers supported 172 NICU families, ensuring that they knew how to access community support during what can be a difficult and sometimes chaotic time. For more information, see Life's Little Treasures Foundation.

Lort Smith pet therapy

The Lort Smith Pet Therapy Program provides visits to the Women’s by volunteers accompanied by their own specially assessed and approved dogs.

The program aims to improve the wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff through positive contact with visiting volunteers and their dogs who provide calm, relaxing support and conversation and warm connection.

In 2023, Lort Smith volunteers visited 182 patients, visitors and staff across the Women’s, spreading smiles and enhancing the hospital environment. For more information, see Lort Smith.

KOGO craft donations

Knit One Give One (KOGO) enhances social inclusion through volunteering and providing hand knitted items of warmth and comfort to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community.

The Women’s is fortunate to regularly receive donations of knitted and crocheted items from KOGO through their skilled and dedicated volunteers. These include baby beanies, blankets, toys and baby clothes.

Patients supported by our Badjurr-Bulok Wilam Aboriginal Health Liaison Office and Baggarrook midwives program also appreciate hand-crafted items in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag colours.

If you are interested in supporting the Women’s through providing hand-crafted donations, please connect with KOGO.

They are a wonderful volunteer-led organisation and you will be supporting the Women’s as well as other vulnerable communities who need your support.