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VOLSERVNET a Malta Resource Centre project in joint collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Elderly, and Community Care. 2007-2009

Volservnet includes three sub-projects: The key project is called VOLSERV aimed at developing and organising voluntary services to support patients and relatives in the main general hospital as well as in the community. The other projects are the setting up and administration of a Malta Health Network and capacity building events for health NGOs.




VOLSERV today...

aims at developing and organising voluntary health services to support patients and relatives in the main general hospital as well as in the community.

Over 1000 volunteers recruited!

130 volunteers currently placed in Mater Dei Hospital!

Applications for Volunteers:

  • Applications for Individual Volunteers: Download



Main Aims of VOLSERV Hospital:

  • Enhancing quality of overall patient experience
  • Enhancing the experience of the relatives of patients
  • Providing a more personal response to patients
  • Adding value to the work of the hospital staff, through the creation of roles of value for the volunteers
  • Offering rewarding opportunities for the volunteers, a chance to meet new people, feel a sense of satisfaction etc.

Main Aims of VOLSERV Community:

  • Promoting health in the community through non-medical services
  • Preventing people at risk of social exclusion from becoming isolated
  • Understanding the health needs of the Maltese community better through ongoing research
  • Tapping into the energy and enthusiasm of individuals who are willing to give up their time to volunteer in the community and empower individuals

Voluntary Services in Hospital

MRC recruits individual volunteers and also creates partnerships with various organizations and NGOs that provide voluntary services, including educational establishments and youth groups.

The voluntary services provided aim to satisfy the needs identified by the hospital staff. These needs focus on any service that if provided, will enhance the quality of the hospital experience of the patients and their families. MRC liaises with the hospital authorities who coordinate the logistics of the process in the hospital with regard to the (non-nursing and non-medical) services carried out by the volunteers. Examples of the service carried out by volunteers include: guiding for relatives in the new hospital, greeting and providing assistance to   patients in the out-patients department; reading to patients’ etc.  Training and support is provided for the volunteers by MRC.

Volunteers in the Wards

February 2008 saw the introduction of volunteers into 6 wards at Mater Dei Hospital. These volunteers spend time talking to lonely patients and helping out with various non-medical tasks. In the paediatric wards volunteers are encouraged to use their creative skills to entertain the children and a hands-on training programme was held in April teaching volunteers skills like balloon modelling. All volunteers who enter the wards are offered specifc training depending on the area where they will be offering their service.

Voluntary services to facilitate Health Care in the Community

VolServ is currently working on creating voluntary services for the community which will facilitate the provision of health services in the community. An example of a few of these services are: supporting the elderly within the community by, for example running a research service which aims to identify more thoroughly the needs of the primary health care system through continuous questionnaire and survey inquiry; developing the information-delivery service for patients and their relatives at health centres.

1st Anniversary of VolServ!

In celebration of the 1st Anniversary of VolServ, the event 'Volunteerism at its Best' was held in the Main Auditorium at Mater Dei Hospital on Tuesday 29th April 2008 at 10.45am. All volunteers and Health NGOs were invited to attend. Mrs. Donna Gioia, from Roswell Park Cancer Institute,U.S.A, shared her experience of volunteering in a hospital and the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Hon. Dr. Joseph Cassar addressed and congratulated all volunteers for their committment and dedication shown in the past year.


Volunteers at the VolServ 1st Anniversary Celebration Event at Mater Dei Hospital, April 29th 2008.

Projected Volunteer Programme - 2008

February Specific Training for Wards
March Information meetings and interviews
March/April Basic training in communication, code of conduct and skills, volunteer policy and procedures for new group of volunteers
Placements and commencement of work
Psychological Support Groups and Feedback groups for already active volunteers
June Information meetings and interviews
July Basic Training Course for second recruitment
Placements and commencement of work of second new group of volunteers
August and September Further recuritment
Psychological Support Groups and Feedback Groups
October Third Basic Training Programme for third recruitment
Placements and commencement of work of third new group of volunteers
Specific Training for Wards
November Psychological Support Groups and Feedback Groups
December VolServ Training Certificate and Gratitude Ceremony


VolServ is currently seeking to develop

  • A uniform system which ensures that all volunteers working in Mater Dei hospital are trained (all volunteers to attend basic training or certified to have equivalent training)
  • A code of conduct for all organisations and volunteers which will operate in Mater Dei Hospital
  • A registration system for all organisations and volunteers to work in Mater Dei Hospital
  • Volunteering in the Community
  • As part of its recruitment work a long term (3 year) communications plan to recruit volunteers and creat awarness about the service. Various Corporate sponsors have been and are being approached to support such work.



Volunteers during a training session on Basic Hygiene at Mater Dei Hospital (March 2008)

Volunteers who are placed in Paediatric wards during and Arts and Crafts training session at Mater Dei Hospital (March 2008)

All the volunteers recruited undergo a basic course which included the following areas: Communication, basic hygiene, information about the out patient clinics and the health centers

Volunteering in Health Care

  • Introduction to Volunteering
  • Introduction to Health Care in Malta
  • VolServ Policy

Communication Skills

  • Key skills for good communication 
  • Basic Empathy
  • Dealing with Difficult People

Basic Hygiene

  • Hand Hygiene
  • Vaccination
  • Transmission Based Precautions
  • Waste Disposal System at the New Hospital Mr. Noel Abela

Outpatients Training Mater Dei including:

Description of services of Outpatient clinics

Health Centre Training

  • The individual
  • Primary Health Care Department  :Aims, Definition
  • The Structure of PHCD – an overview
  • The Health Centre
  • Brief description of each Service given
  • The Privacy Policy of PHCD

To view photos of training sessions of volunteers in 2008 click on link: Download


VolServ is supported by: