King’s Health Partners Global Volunteering Scheme

There are exciting opportunities for King’s Health Partners staff (clinical and non-clinical) to volunteer time and skills with King’s Global Health Partnerships (KGHP).

SomalilandWe warmly welcome interest from staff – clinical or non-clinical - who are looking to spend a period of time volunteering overseas in one of the three partner countries (Sierra Leone, Somaliland and Democratic Republic of Congo) or volunteer in a UK-based capacity. There are a range of ways in which you can engage with KGHP, both in the UK and overseas.

Why volunteer?

There is strong evidence that health partnerships like ours don’t only benefit people in low-resource settings. They also bring real benefit to NHS staff and services as well as citizens in our partner countries. Among others, these benefits include the opportunity to develop:

  • Leadership skills
  • Skills in interdisciplinary team working
  • Knowledge and skills in innovation and quality improvement
  • Clinical and teaching experience
  • Cross-cultural experience and experience of managing diversity (highly relevant for King’s Health Partners staff working in the diverse communities of South London)
  • Personal resilience and efficiency – including an enhanced ability to stay calm and make good quality decisions
  • Renewed energy for tackling the challenges in improving NHS patient outcomes.

The three NHS Foundation Trusts within King’s Health Partners (Guy’s & St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and the Maudsley) alongside university colleagues at King’s College London, place a high value on supporting staff to volunteer with the partnerships, as part of their personal learning and development. There are various ways in which NHS organisations can facilitate participation, please contact KGHP’s NHS Engagement Lead Laura Semple on laurasemple@nhs.net if you would like to discuss the options.

Our offer to volunteers

You can find the list of current opportunities below:

King’s Sierra Leone Partnership

King’s Somaliland Partnership

King’s Kongo Central Partnership

All volunteer roles are appointed following an application and interview process. Please see individual adverts for details of how to apply.

The standard package offered to volunteers working overseas in the partner countries includes:

  • Monthly stipend for living expenses
  • Return flights to partner countries
  • One return flight between the partner country and the UK for every 6 months that the volunteer is in post, to support travel during annual leave
  • Multi-entry visa
  • Residency permit & professional registration (where required)
  • Vaccinations and anti-malarials
  • Accommodation in a shared house with other volunteers
  • Transport to and from the workplace
  • 27 days annual leave plus bank holidays.

In addition, all new volunteers from King’s Health Partners (for overseas and UK-based roles) receive the following:

  • A 3-way meeting between the volunteer, their NHS line manager and an appropriate member of the KGHP team to discuss the role, how it will work in relation to their NHS commitments and how the volunteer’s learning will benefit them personally, as well as benefits for the NHS service that they work in
  • Comprehensive induction programme to King’s Global Health Partnerships as a chance to learn about our ethos and approach as well as essential safety and security briefings for overseas volunteers
  • High quality support from the dynamic and experienced partnerships team during the period of volunteering
  • After the volunteer role is completed, a return meeting with KGHP and the NHS line manager to discuss learning, reflections and next steps as well as a range of great opportunities to stay involved with the partnerships including being part of an alumni group, providing ad-hoc specialist advice to the partnerships which may involve short trips to partner countries; providing mentoring to future volunteers. Volunteers are expected to share their learning with colleagues in their department (usually through a presentation and Q&A session), this should be planned in dialogue with the NHS line manager.

Our ethos and expectations of volunteers

Alongside having impact, our approach to partnership is a central component to our success. We believe that the King’s Global Health Partnerships (KGHP) can make a distinctive contribution because:

  1. We bring the health, academic and development communities together, drawing on the strengths of each.
  2. We work in partnership with local, public sector organisations. To us, this means:
  • we work by invitation working alongside our partners in all our work
  • we are embedded within our partner organisations and communities
  • we are responsive to our partners’ needs and priorities and flexible as these change
  • we engage as peers and understand health systems
  • we are trusted because we are consistent and deliver what we promise
  • we experience mutual benefit through engagement with our partners.
  1. We are committed for the long term, because real impact takes time.
  2. We strive for the highest levels of rigour in everything we do. This enables us to achieve meaningful and lasting change.

We expect all volunteers, whether working overseas or in the UK, to be ambassadors for the above values in all of their activities. Our partnership work requires people with a positive attitude who are open-minded, flexible and able to quickly learn and adapt their approach in fast-moving and sometimes challenging environments. We also have a code of conduct which all volunteers are required to sign upon joining the team. Individual roles often have particular person specifications (eg qualifications, amount of experience), which is included in each individual role advert.

Interested? Please have a look at the opportunities advertised above and if you would like to have an informal conversation please contact laurasemple@nhs.net. We look forward to hearing from you.