New project to turn volunteering work into rewarding careers in health and social care

Dr Cheryl Simmill-Binning and a carer at work

The Health Innovation Campus is working with cross-sector partners to develop an agreed Volunteering Pathway Programme to take people from voluntary work into rewarding careers in health and social care.

A scoping workshop is being held this week where a wide range of professionals from the NHS, local authority, business and the voluntary sectors will come together virtually, to look at developing the framework for the pathway.   

It is initially proposed that the programme will focus on carers and young carers, moving into employment in the regulated care sector.      

The workshop will be hosted by Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS’ Integrated Voluntary Services Project, led by Margaret Asquith, and will be facilitated by Dr Cheryl Simmill-Binning from the Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University.     

Dr Simmill-Binning said: “The skills acquired through working in the voluntary sector often put people in an ideal position to move into paid positions, and long-term careers, in health and social care.

“We aim to take that one step further by putting in place a framework which ensures these valuable skills and experience do not go to waste.”

It is believed that there is an untapped pool of potentially high-calibre workers who may never have considered a career in regulated care, but who are ideally suited. The programme will build on their values and experience and help them gain insight into the sector and become job-ready. It is hoped to have the pilot programme in place early 2021.     

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