Step 1 - what kind of volunteering do you want?

Community volunteering roles

Most of our volunteers are in community volunteering roles. They are on the front lines and behind the scenes making sure St John Ambulance is there in the moments that matter, saving lives and supporting communities.

There's a community volunteering role for everyone. You don't need to compete with other people to get in to these roles, although each has different requirements and commitments to meet. 

Find out more about our community volunteering roles to make sure there's one that interests you. 

Specialist and leadership roles

We also have volunteers in specialist and leadership roles, from providing operational expertise, to providing support and leadership to fellow volunteers on all scales. These vacancies come up as needed, and you can apply for them directly whether or not you're currently part of St John.

You will follow a different process to pursue these roles. You will usually need to meet higher requirements and commitments, and the interviewers will probably be choosing only one candidate to offer the role. But don't let that put you off - taking on more responsibility in your volunteering can be immensely rewarding.

Find out which specialist and leadership roles we have available at the moment.

Healthcare Professionals

We're proud that so many qualified healthcare professionals (HCPs) choose to volunteer their time and skills with St John Ambulance.

Joining as an HCP follows the same joining journey you see on this page, with one addition. At the end of Step 2, and before Step 3, you'll be put in touch with your District Clinical Lead to have what we call the Professional Discussion. This process ensures we have recognised all your skills and captured all the information that our regulators and your professional body says we need. We can identify where our training and CPD offers will support you, and establish which of our Pillars of Practice fit your skill set.

We know that not every person with a professional registration will exclusively want to volunteer as an HCP with us, so the full range of non-clinical volunteering roles (including roles with young people, supporting community training, other internal support, and so forth) will be available to you after your professional discussion. Whether it's volunteering as an Operational Healthcare Professional or in another role that interests you, after your Professional Discussion you'll use Step 3 below (what we call Pathfinder) to select and pursue this role.

Registrations we recognise

Your skill set will be matched to our of our four scopes of practice, depending on your experience and qualifications within your registration.

  • HCPC registered paramedic
  • NMC registered nurse
  • GMC registered doctor able to practice independently (i.e. FY2 or equivalent and beyond)
  • GDC registered dentist
  • GPhC registered pharmacist
  • HCPC registered occupational therapist
  • HCPC registered operating department practitioner
  • HCPC registered physiotherapist
  • HCPC registered podiatrist
  • NMC registered midwife
  • NMC registered nursing associate
  • PAMVR registered physician associate

Step 2 - join St John Ambulance

Here's how you can start your journey, by applying to join St John Ambulance as a volunteer. If you're already a St John volunteer or employee, you can skip straight to step 3, or find more information on St John Connect.

  1. Apply to join

    Let us know you're interested in volunteering. We'll get back to you as soon as possible about completing an application form.

  2. Your Welcome Interview

    Your Welcome Interview is an informal discussion with a current St John person in the Welcome Team, allowing you to find out more about St John, and letting us be sure that St John is the right organisation for you.

    Our interviews take place digitally, using Microsoft Teams. Please join the call from a device that has a camera, and bring your photo ID with you.

    The questions we have for you will be around:

    • Telling us about yourself, who you are and what you’re passionate about
    • Why you want to be a part of St John Ambulance
    • Volunteering alongside young people in St John
    • Our HEART values
    • Our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (or EDI)
    • The support that will help you thrive
    • Confirming you and the role you're most interested in are suitable for each other.

    Once the Welcome Team has confirmed your interview results, you will be introduced to your local team.

  3. SJAdistricts

    Meet your local team

    St John Ambulance in England is split in to eight regions, and thirty five districts. The first person you'll be introduced to is your District New Volunteers Lead or DNVL.

    Your DNVL will help you get a great start, inviting you to induction, and getting you involved with a local unit. Your unit is the place you're invited to go to regularly to keep up your connection to St John, get involved with your community and keep your training and skills up to date.

    You will have a Unit Manager who will be your main source of support, guidance and connection with your volunteering, and will support you to find and pursue your ideal volunteering role.

    If you are interested in Community Fundraising, you will join a virtual national unit, although the doors of your local unit will always be open to you if you'd like to come along.

Step 3 - pursue a role

Your Unit Manager and the rest of your team will help you settle in to St John Ambulance, and start talking to you about the kind of volunteering you want to do.

When you all feel you're ready, you'll be supported to start pursuing your role.

  1. Pursue your role

    You'll complete some paperwork to tell us which role you want to do, including:

    • Showing that you understand the role
    • Confirming that you will meet the commitment
    • Giving us information needed to complete your screening.
  2. Be selected for role

    For most roles, you're automatically selected for role after successfully completing the step above.

    For some of our roles, especially regulated ones, we'll ask for one of the following:

    • to write a personal statement
    • to attend a virtual interview
    • to write a personal statement and then attend an in-person selection event.
  3. Be screened for role

    Using the information you gave us in step one, our team will complete your screening. This always includes references and ensuring our role is safe for you (usually called "occupational health"). For most roles it also includes a criminal records check (called a "DBS check"), and could also involve having a record of your previous employment / volunteering, and any registrations you may hold as a healthcare professional (if applicable).

    Because of the importance of ensuring we meet regulator guidelines and our own high standards, this is usually the step that takes the longest. You can help by making sure your referees know to expect our request, and complete it quickly. If our team gets in touch needing any more information to help with your screening, please get back to them quickly.

    While you're waiting for your screening, you can also start your training.

  4. Be trained for role

    You can start your training after you've been selected for role. You don't need to wait for your screening to be finished.

    Some of our training for roles is online, although most roles come with at least one day's classroom training too. A few roles involve training "on the job," and in some we can recognise prior learning (for example, if you're a healthcare professional).

    We plan our courses around the availability of our volunteer trainers, and the volunteers who need training. So if a suitable and convenient course is not available when you try and book, you can communicate with your team to make sure your needs are accounted for.

    When you've completed both your training and your screening, it's time to volunteer!