What are Hospital Shops & Cafés?

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest hospital retailers with 230 hospital shops, cafés and trolley services run by local staff and volunteers in hospitals across England, Wales and Scotland.

Our Royal Voluntary Service Hospital Shops and Cafés offer patients, hospital staff and visitors hot and cold beverages, snacks, gift ideas, good company but also a welcoming place to take a break. In selected hospitals, we also offer our Shop & Co stores and Tea & Co cafés.

By becoming a Hospital Shop or Café volunteer, you can offer visitors a friendly face that could help them through what could be a stressful time.

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What are Hospital shops and Cafes from Royal Voluntary Service


How Hospital Shops & Hospital Cafés make a difference

Being in hospital can be an anxious experience for patients, visitors and even staff. Anything that can help to alleviate this is bound to be welcome. As a hospital shop volunteer or café volunteer, that’s exactly what you can offer; a friendly place for people to come and relax.

Taking a moment to stop for a drink and a snack in a pleasant environment can provide a much-needed break from hospital life. Our shops also give visitors the chance to buy a newspaper, magazine or gift for the patient that they’re visiting.

As a hospital shop volunteer or café volunteer, you’ll offer service with a smile, taking time to chat and listen. It’s also an opportunity to tell people about the services Royal Voluntary Service can offer to help patients as they return home and ease them back into getting involved with their local community.

You can do your bit in any number of ways:

  • Serving hot and cold snacks and drinks in our cafés
  • Helping people select gifts in our shops
  • Checking stock levels and assisting with paperwork in our offices.

All profits raised from items bought in our hospital cafés, shops and hospital trolleys go back to support the NHS or our charity's service in the community.

Find out more about what you can expect
How Hospital shops and Cafes from Royal Voluntary Service can make a difference


Helping your talent shine

You may be a seasoned volunteer or a complete beginner. Either way, we're here to help you in whatever way we can.

We’ll make sure you receive a full induction so that you know exactly what to expect in our Hospital Shops and Cafés, including using our tills, dealing with customers and any other retail training that you might need.

It’s important that you gain as much from your voluntary role as the people you come into contact with.

You’ll also have guidance from our Hospital Café or Shop volunteers as and when you need it. They’ll be happy to share their knowledge, experience and a few of the hints and tips they’ve learnt along the way.

Our volunteers choose to join us in hospitals across the country for a number of different reasons, share your talents and skills with us and help to make a difference in someone’s life.

How Hospital shops and Cafes from Royal Voluntary Service helps your talent shine
Find an opportunity near you