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volunteering hub (reh)

Our vision is to promote happiness and wellbeing in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital through the involvement of volunteers and the promotion of volunteering

About us

The Volunteering Hub based in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) was established in September 2008. The hospital provides psychiatric and mental health services, including support for learning disabilities, dementia, forensic psychiatry and a wide range of other specialist services. The hub is a unique project which engages both patients and members of the public in volunteering.

Our vision

Our vision is to promote happiness and wellbeing in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital through the involvement of volunteers and the promotion of volunteering. We aim to bring moments of joy, laughter, peace, belonging, success, relaxation and validation for patients, and to improve the community and environment of the hospital

We believe that everyone has something to offer, even in the darkest of times in their lives, and we work to involve people in ways which play to their strengths and interests. Many patients volunteer during their time in hospital and are pleased to be able to contribute and feel capable in a setting where they are more usually the recipients of help and support. We start with the person and create a volunteering role or activity around them, ensuring that they have the greatest chance of success in following through, despite the challenges they are facing in their illness.

Volunteering with us

We involve a large team of public volunteers to deliver a constantly changing range of activities and support, in partnership with hospital staff. This gives volunteers a broad range of experience and training, as well as ensuring we can continuously adapt to the opportunities for positive involvement of patients. We promote an atmosphere of equality where patients and public volunteers work as a team, with complementary skills. Often this might mean one person providing the skill and knowledge in a certain area, and the other providing initiative, confidence and encouragement. We encourage both parties to learn from the other.

Volunteer Library at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Volunteering Hub


We are conscious of our role in training public volunteers to be future members of the NHS workforce and we hold them to high standards of attitude and behaviour. Members of the public who volunteer are coached and supported to develop their social and emotional skills in this challenging setting, in order to create the most positive outcomes possible for patients.

There is huge reward in being able to see people flourish and we are immensely lucky to spend our days with people who are able to find such strength, humour and kindness in the midst of despair.

Volunteer Quotes

I wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity to volunteer at the REH. I have really enjoyed it especially all the workshops and hope to live in Edinburgh again in the future and hopefully I could volunteer again then.
It has been a very valuable experience; The perfect way to get an introduction to the hospital setting. Caring and non-clinical.
Thank you very much for the support and help you gave me throughout my volunteering. The opportunities you gave me have been fantastic and without your help I would never have got the job in the hospital. I have had an amazing 18 months volunteering. Thanks again.

Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch with the team at the Volunteering Hub please call 0131 537 6175 or email