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Health ambassadors

The health ambassadors scheme encourages people working and/or studying in healthcare to volunteer one hour per year to speak in schools about their roles, or participate in careers events and activities.

The aims of the scheme are to:

  • attract and ensure the future healthcare workforce by getting young people interested in your job, profession or sector which can help develop the talent pool and ensure a skilled workforce in the future.
  • ensure the future healthcare workforce is representative of the communities it seeks to serve.
  • help young people make informed choices about the range of job roles within the NHS. Going into state schools and colleges can help dispel myths about jobs and professions, and importantly, ensure that young people have a realistic view of the world of work and the routes into it.

Volunteer with Inspiring the Future

Volunteering with Inspiring the Future is free, easy, effective and fun. Volunteers and education providers are connected securely online, and volunteering can take place near home or work as employees specify the geographic locations that suit them. Disclosure and Barring Service are not needed for career insights talks, as a teacher is always present.

Being a Health Ambassador is also a great personal and professional development tool, allowing employees to gain confidence by speaking to young people about their job, and helping young people to understanding the application and recruitment process.

Once signed up local schools/colleges may invite you to take part in a careers fair, in career networking or do a lunchtime talk to local school children about your role. Typically, volunteers will go into schools just once a year to speak with young people.

Schools/colleges in the local area send secure messages directly to volunteers to see if they can attend.

For more information please contact Victoria Lawrence

A health ambassador is a qualified and experienced health worker who is willing to inspire and encourage young people in primary and secondary schools to think about a career and educational opportunities in healthcare.

They have enthusiasm, commitment, confidence, the ability to identify with young people, a passion for their work and a wish to inspire others to achieve their full potential.

Aims of the project:

The aim of the project is to bring healthcare professionals together with young people to raise awareness about the variety of career options and talk about job opportunities within healthcare. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

• NHS organisations holding open days, careers events, work experience programmes, work shadowing and volunteer placements
• Connecting education and healthcare professionals in order that young people gain an insight into the world of work

Being an ambassador:

Health ambassadors act as role models to young people, offering them the chance to find out as much as possible about jobs and professions in healthcare. As an ambassador you will be involved in a programme of working with local primary and secondary schools and colleges. This may include:

• giving presentations in a school setting with groups of students on health and social care courses
• offering guidance and advice on the health industry and its many and varied career opportunities at a careers session
• helping to facilitate workshops and work experience programmes and possibly becoming a mentor if you have the skills and interest

If you want to sign up as an employer contact Oliver Hallam: oliver.hallam@educationandemployers.org. He can provide you with a dedicated link that you can share with the employees you would like to sign up.

Once you have a link employees can sign up by clicking on that link and following the steps. If they do this they will be associated to your trust/ organisation.

They will then be taken to the Inspiring the Future portal, where they will be asked to provide a few basic details, an email address and password and a few more details about what they can offer as a volunteer. They then need to fill out specialisms and activities that they are happy to volunteer for, and finally the location of the local authority where the employee lives/ works.

Registered ambassadors will know if they have a request when they receive an email from Inspiring the Future to say they have a message in their inbox from a teacher in their area. As an employer you can ask the employer team at Inspiring the Future for reports on who has signed up and what activity has taken place.

How do we promote Health Ambassadors in my organisation?

By informing Health Ambassadors how they can become involved in a programme of working with local primary and secondary schools and colleges which may include:

• Giving presentations in a school setting to groups of students on health and social care courses
• Offering guidance and advice on the health sector and its many and varied job opportunities at a careers session
• Helping to facilitate workshops and work experience programmes and possibly becoming a mentor

A healthcare organisation may also offer the following:

• Open days
• Career events
• Taster sessions
• Work experience programmes and work shadowing
• Volunteer placements

To support health ambassador activity, we have provided here some practical tools that could be utilised in different settings and links to related organisations involved.

• Ideas for workshops (including hints and tips for giving a talk)
• Icebreaker activities
• Before your visit
• Giving a talk
• Activity / workshop planning sheet
• Skills for Health - community engagement toolkit
• Case study for a 'world of work day session'