Volunteer Patient Advocate

Volunteer Patient Advocates will focus on the welfare of patients throughout their experience. You will look after individuals and small groups in the vaccination centres. If anyone has a medical emergency then a Volunteer Patient Advocate will be able to recognise it and get help quickly.

Volunteer area:


Time commitment:

2 shifts of up to 8 hours each (16 hours in total a month) 

Closing date:



Apply Now

What’s involved?

  • Meeting and greeting patients, ensuring they are comfortable, reassuring them pre and post vaccine, helping them navigate the vaccination centre, as well as signposting them to relevant external resources as needed.
  • Recognise and respond to patients’ needs. This may include supporting people with impairments. Working collaboratively with small diverse teams including our NHS doctors, nurses, and other trained staff.
  • Completion of documentation associated with the administration of the vaccine, ensuring compliance with regulated requirements.
  • Work with other St John partners to deliver a vaccination service including escalating problems outside your scope of training to an appropriate person.
  • Maintain an awareness of the wellbeing of yourself and fellow volunteers so that support can be made available to everybody.

What qualities make me suitable for the volunteer role?

  • Must not be in any of the groups at higher risk from COVID-19. This includes people aged 70 or over, people with a lung condition, diabetes, heart condition, or those who are very obese (a BMI of 40 or higher). Find out more about at-risk groups on the NHS website.
  • Good interpersonal skills, and ability to be respectful and empathetic of individuals and their concerns which may include an ability to deal with conflict.
  • Be confident, calm, and reassuring to all patients prior to and after receipt of the vaccine.
  • Have sufficient physical fitness and mental concentration for the role (this includes standing and walking potentially for the entire shift).
  • Have experience of a paid or voluntary role caring for people, providing customer service, or providing signposting and advice.
  • Be able to follow instructions as given by clinical professionals as well as act on your own initiative within your scope of training.
  • Aware that you may see needles and potentially deal with blood and bodily fluids.
  • Be able to pass all the required mandatory training associated with this role.
  • Able to drive or use public transport to get to the training venue and vaccination site as needed.
  • Able to wear the associated personal protective equipment (PPE) for long periods of time.
  • Be able to use IT and access the Internet.
  • Must be able to commit to attending the training programme which includes online and face-to-face elements.
  • Willing to complete an Enhanced DBS application.

Training and support provided

Training requirements will be a blend of online learning and COVID-secure, face-to-face training. If your registration is successful, we require 12.5 hours of training for the Patient Advocate role over a period of four weeks covering: 

  • Welcome programme introducing you to the project and wider charity.
  • Moving and handling.
  • Training on appropriate IT Systems and processes associated with this project.
  • Training in appropriate St John Ambulance policies.
  • St John Ambulance Safeguarding training relevant to your role.

Travel expenses will be paid within the policy and framework specific to this project.

Volunteers will be allocated a Vaccination Volunteer Lead who will stay in touch. They will let you know before the vaccine is ready and keep in touch during the vaccination programme.

St John will provide all volunteers with a t-shirt to wear as your uniform and PPE in line with the current guidance from Public Health England and NHS England.

How to apply

Apply Now

We are currently inviting those who have previously registered interest with us to apply by email in the areas where we still need to fill specific roles. Please use the link in the email you were sent by us to start your application.  This is due to the phenomenal response we received to our initial recruitment phase, if you have not heard from us yet, please do bear with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for someone with no previous medical experience to be involved with this programme? 

We are working to NHS England's specifications, and as well as the extensive training with a pass/fail assessment, you will be subject to assessments (observed vaccinations) and clinical supervision at each of the vaccination sites by a health care professional to ensure the safety of patients and that of the volunteers.   

Will volunteers wear PPE?  

Yes, all those in close patient contact will be required to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) in line with the current guidance from Public Health England and NHS England.

How many shifts can I do?

We need a commitment of at least two shifts per month from the time the vaccine is available. If you feel able to do more, that’s fantastic! We will always take volunteers work-life patterns and wellbeing into account. Shifts will last up a maximum of 8 hours.

Please speak to your employer about whether it is possible for you to take time away from your job to volunteer.

What checks will be carried out?

We will require you to agree to an Enhanced DBS check and will need to check your ID as part of your application process. You will need to upload three pieces of identification to support this check and this to take place once you have submitted your application.

When should I expect to hear from you?

You should receive an email confirmation of our receipt of your application from our recruitment system.

We have a team of people on hand ready to process your application as quickly as possible, but due to the expected volume of applicants, it may take up to several weeks for us to contact you to set up your interview. 

Read our full FAQs

How can I contact you?

If your question isn’t answered here, or within our full FAQs, please email us at vaccinationsupport@sja.org.uk or call 03330 154 411*

* Lines will be open 8.30am-5.30pm Monday – Friday and calls cost 2p per minute.