Support the NHS

The NHS plays an important role in all our lives.

As the service turns 75, we are reminding people about the many ways they can help and support the NHS:

Join the NHS team

Did you know that the NHS is one of the largest employers in the world? And with 1.3 million staff, it is the biggest employer in Europe.

The NHS offers a huge range of exciting and challenging opportunities for people who are passionate about making a difference. With more than 350 different careers on offer, there is a job for you.

The NHS employs clinical and non-clinical staff. Clinical staff include doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives and pharmacists. Examples of non-clinical include electricians, administration, porters, accountants and caterers.

Take a look at these profiles to get a feel for just some of the roles that make the NHS what it is.

You can enter the NHS whatever your background, previous work experience and qualifications. And once you are in the NHS, we’ll work with you to develop your career, and fulfil your potential.

There are lots of ways to get into an NHS role, whether it’s joining direct from school, as an apprentice or after higher education, or you can make the move from another sector.

There are a wide range of employers in the NHS, from hospitals and ambulance services through to GP practices and opticians. There are also a number of organisations that support and monitor NHS services, for instance NHS England.

You might also want to work in social care. Social care provides a whole range of services to support adults and young people. If you work in social care, you could help people in their own homes, in residential homes or in a number of other places such as day centres or supported housing.

Alternatively, you might consider a role in public health. Public health is about helping people to stay healthy and protecting them from threats to their health.

Everyone who joins the NHS is guaranteed a salary that matches their ability and responsibilities, and given every opportunity to increase it through training and development.

On top of your basic salary, you will receive at least 27 days’ holiday each year, plus a range of other benefits including occupational health and counselling services.

Other benefits of working in the NHS include membership of the NHS Pension Scheme (unless you choose to opt out) and study leave for sponsored courses.

Learn about careers in the NHS, as well as social care and public health. You can also take a short quiz to find the NHS careers that best suit you.

The NHS Jobs website includes information about current vacancies. You can also register to receive regular email updates about jobs you might be interested in.

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Volunteer at your local NHS organisation

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds make a huge contribution to the health and wellbeing of the nation, sharing their time, compassion and expertise to support the NHS, charities, faith groups and communities. Why not join them as we mark 75 years of the NHS?

Volunteers have been integral to the NHS from day one and we’re looking forward to some exciting volunteering developments during this 75th year.

NHS and CARE Volunteer Responders

Our NHS and CARE Volunteer Responders offer a range of opportunities for people who live in England to support the NHS, its patients, and people who draw on social care. These volunteers can flex the time they offer through a smartphone app. This makes it easier to fit volunteering around work or other commitments. Available roles are advertised on the NHS CARE and Volunteer Responders website.

Welcoming you back into hospitals and health settings

There are more than 300 different types of volunteer role which help the NHS, ranging from offering companionship for patients on a ward to being a first responder with an ambulance service, fundraising for an NHS charity or supporting people with long term conditions through a health charity. You could also be a hospital radio DJ, contribute to advisory groups or help with activities in your local community.

Fulfilling your ambitions

Volunteering can be a valuable first step into a career within the NHS, giving you first-hand experience of health settings, additional references, and the chance to hear directly from our staff.

You can find details of how to apply to your local NHS trust by region or town on the new NHS Volunteering website. Many GP practices or charity partners also offer volunteering opportunities.

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Give blood

Every day thousands of people’s lives are saved or improved thanks to the generosity of blood donors. But sadly, there are still lots of patients we can’t treat because we don’t have enough supplies. You can support the NHS in its 75th year by giving blood – there’s an urgent need for regular donors, so please help if you can.

Giving blood saves lives. The blood you give is a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments.

We need over 5,000 blood donations every day to treat patients in need across England, which is why there’s always a need for people to give blood.

Each year we need 135,000 new donors, as some donors can no longer give blood. Most people aged between 17 and 65 can donate.

We specifically need 40,000 more Black donors to meet the growing demand for better-matched blood and treat conditions such as sickle cell disease. Sickle cell is more prevalent in people of Black heritage and ethnically matched blood provides the best treatment.

For Salome, who has to have red cell exchanges every 6 weeks, Ro subtype blood donors like Zamzam have helped to save her life.

For more information about giving blood, visit the blood donation website.

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Join the NHS Organ Donor Register

Organ donation is when you decide to give an organ to save or transform the life of someone else.

You could help save or improve up to nine lives in future by being an organ donor, and many more by donating tissue.

If you want to be an organ donor after you die, you can register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. It’s also really important that you talk to your loved ones and make sure they understand and support your organ donation decision.

To find out more, please visit

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Support NHS charities

Over the last 75 years the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation and become the envy of the world. And helping behind the scenes are more than 230 dedicated NHS charities from across the UK.

Whether supporting research and development, brightening up hospital environments, providing state-of-the-art technologies and equipment or supporting staff, they help the NHS to go above and beyond.

You can support NHS charities in many ways – for example by making a donation or volunteering.

To find out more, visit

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Join the NHS1000 miles challenge

Looking for an exciting challenge or an innovative New Year’s resolution? Why not join the NHS 1000-mile challenge and commit to walk, run, swim or cycle 1,000 miles during 2023?

The NHS’s 75th birthday will take place on 5 July 2023 and people across the country are being asked to join the NHS1000 mile challenge to mark the occasion.

Those taking part are encouraged to walk, run, swim or cycle (or a combination) a distance of 1,000 miles in the year. That’s an average of 2.74 miles per day.

Participants are asked to keep a record of their weekly miles and are invited to share their progress on Twitter on Sunday nights at 7.30pm using the hashtag #NHS1000miles.

As well as being a great way to mark the birthday, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day. Some is good – more is better still. Exercise can: improve your sleep; clear your mind; and boost your energy.

It’s completely free to take part in NHS1000miles. However, participants might want to get sponsored to complete their 1,000.

How can I join?

  1. Work out how you want to complete your miles … and how many you’ll need to do each day/week/month
  2. Track your miles through this dedicated spreadsheet or join the Strava group
  3. If you want to, why not set up a JustGiving page and get sponsored
  4. Share your weekly mileage at the Twitter ‘check-in’ – Sundays, 7.30pm (use/search the hashtag #NHS1000miles)

Get exercise ready!

You can get more information about the benefits of exercise – and tips for being more active – on the NHS website. A good way start could be ‘NHS Couch to 5K’. You could also take part in your local parkrun – run, walk or volunteer!

Good luck with your NHS1000 mile challenge!

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Get involved in research

Research has built the NHS we have today. Getting involved in healthcare research could help shape the NHS for the future, discovering life-saving treatments, uncovering the secrets behind diseases, and developing the answers to the problems causing ill health today.

As the NHS turns 75, you can help develop it for the future by getting involved in research. Every year, more than half a million people take part in health research. Patients and members of the public also help design research studies and advise what our priorities for future research should be.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is the research arm of the NHS, and works with patients, healthcare professionals and researchers to support healthcare research. As part of the NHS’ 75th birthday celebrations, we’re asking people to take part and shape research.

Take part in a clinical trial or study

Do you want to take part in a research study, either as a patient or a healthy volunteer? Ask your doctor, nurse, midwife or other healthcare professional about whether there is a trial or study that you could take part in. Visit and sign up to hear more about research in your area.

Shape research

You can help shape what research gets funded in England through NIHR’s patient and public involvement activities.

You can make a difference to health and care research by:

  • Telling us the questions you want health research to find the answers for
  • Reviewing research applications to make sure that researchers ask the right questions and in a way that the public understand
  • Helping to decide what research gets funded by NIHR’s decision making boards and panels.

Find out more about how you can get involved in research on the Be Part of Research website.

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