The Friends provide a variety of voluntary services at the Hospital. Ellis, Warwickshire Community Action and Voluntary Action World Cup Rugby Mascot, met some of our volunteers to find out what they do!

Help Desk

Patients and visitors come to the hospital from all over Coventry and Warwickshire, as well as Rugby, and often need help to find their way to the ward or department where they have an appointment to attend or friends and relatives they would like to visit.

Volunteers are based at Out Patients and the entrance to the Day Surgery Unit and escort people to the place they are looking for. A friendly face helps ease tensions for many who are anxious when they arrive and may be disoriented by the layout of the site! 


Tea Bar

This service has been suspended as a result of the pandemic

Patients waiting for their appointments in Out Patients can enjoy  a cuppa and a snack at the Friends Tea Bar

The Tea Bar is open Monday – Friday between 09.30 – 12.00 and 13.30 – 16.00 and offers reasonably priced tea, coffee and snacks. 

The modest profits from the Tea Bar more than cover the Charity’s administration expenses so that all monies donated are spent entirely on providing equipment and supporting projects which make a real difference to the patient experience. 


  Patient Impressions

A group of volunteers meet patients and ask them for their impressions of the service they received at St Cross. 

Volunteers enjoy meeting patients in wards, who are due for discharge, or others attending Out Patients and engaging in conversations with people who are often only too happy to have a chat as a distraction from the anxiety they may have in attending hospital. They recognise volunteers as independent from the management and give frank feedback – which is almost always positive and constructive – which reflects the great feedback that the patients have been giving recently through NHS Choices.  


Holding Hands in Theatre

This service has been suspended as a result of the pandemic

When a patient is having a cataract operation under local anaesthetic it is essential that they do not move as this could have a severe impact on a very delicate procedure.

So if the patient feels the need to sneeze, cough or say something he or she can squeeze the hand of a volunteer who will tell the team to stop the procedure safely. Many of the volunteers who provide this service have also had cataract operations and so can give some personal assurance to the patient throughout their visit to the hospital. 


 Patient Feeding

Some patients benefit from assistance with eating their food or just need a little bit of encouragement! Not all patients have relatives or friends that are available to give this support and so a team of volunteers help on several of the wards at St Cross.


Friends volunteers also deliver several other services around the hospital.

Patient Befriending

Some patients are elderly and do not have relatives or friends able to visit them so this service is designed to give those patients an all important visit to brighten their day.

Companion for the dying

This is service which is offered during the last hours of a patient's life in the event that no relative or friend is able to attend the bedside as a patient passes away.


We maintain an area known as The Derrick Masters Memorial Garden, which is named after a former President of the Friends, and the planting at the entrance to the Friends Blood Taking Unit. 

We also tidy areas not covered by the Trust's grass cutting and general maintenance contracts!

 Training is provided for all of the services other than gardening


Friends co-ordinators manage the rotas for the Help Desk and Tea Bar and hospital staff liaise directly with the assigned volunteers for the other services.