Volunteer with Mercy Ships


– Begin a journey of a lifetime –

It takes a crew to run a hospital ship, both abroad and at home. You do not need any medical training. Only 50% of our volunteers are medics. No matter your skills, we have a place for you. Will you help transform lives?

Get started with volunteering

Volunteer in front of the Africa Mercy

Volunteer on board

Create friends for life. Memories you’ll pass down to loved ones. Volunteering on board will be a season you’ll never forget.

Volunteers on a Mercy Ships stand at an event

Volunteer in the UK

Share the incredible Mercy Ships stories of lives transformed at UK conferences, festivals and events. Our network of speakers and alumni are essential.

Three half marathon runners fundraising for Mercy Ships

Fundraise for Mercy Ships

Every penny raised through your fundraising efforts supports our hospital ships to bring free, life-changing surgeries to women, men and children.

Find your place on board

Your chance to make a real difference.

From cooks and cleaners to nurses and dentists, we need people from all walks of life to volunteer on board our two hospital ships. Join us today and begin a journey of a lifetime.

Your skills can make a huge difference.

Imagine joining a crew of volunteers from around the world, sailing into a new port as the host nation sings and dances on the dockside, and meeting patients desperate for vital medical care who are finally able to achieve their dreams.

Operating Room Nurse

Physical Therapist

Dental Hygienist

Outpatient Nurse

Second Officer

Maths Teacher

You could be part of this.

We need committed volunteers, ready to bring unique talents and skills to keep our hospital ships functioning. We need housekeepers, deckhands, ophthalmic surgeons and so much more. In fact, to keep our hospital ships running, we need to cover 100 different professions and have a volunteer crew of at least 1000 people at any one time.

You could be one of them.

The difference you can make

Our non-emergency hospital ships stay in port for 10-months to help the most people and build long-term medical capacity in the areas we serve.

Volunteers are the heart of our work. Doctors, dentists, nurses, teachers and other from 50 nations pay their own way to give their time, talent and hearts. This helps to ensure your donations have maximum impact

If you’ve always wanted to use your unique talent and skills to transform lives and make your mark on the world, we’ve got a volunteer opportunity for you. The work of Mercy Ships impacts the lives of many – patients, families, and volunteers. It’s a transformative experience that enables personal and professional growth, and we’re looking for you to join us.

Why ships?

Our hospital ships bring free, life-changing surgeries directly to women, men and children who need help most. Every year, we train thousands of healthcare professionals on board our floating hospitals.

Why Africa?

Nine out of ten people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to safe surgery. We partner with African nations to build stronger healthcare services. Together, we make a lasting impact – long after our ships depart.

Why you?

Our hospital ships are powered by you. With your skills, we can bring hope and healing to people who have no one else to turn to.

Life on board

The Global Mercy and the Africa Mercy are the world’s largest charity hospital ships, providing life-changing surgeries and expert medical training.

A few things to know about serving on board:

  • Our crew is made up of volunteers who pay their own way
  • English language proficiency is required for all positions onboard
  • Mercy Ships is a Christian organisation who serves people of all faiths
  • Our recruiters are ready to help you find your ideal position and guide you through the process

Want to know more about life on board? Read stories from some of our volunteers.

Dr Sarah Kwok carrying a patient up the gangway of the hospital ship

Volunteering in the UK

We have an incredible team of volunteers all over the UK ready to spread the word about the life-changing work of Mercy Ships. Could you be part of it?

Conferences and Events

We need your help to run our stands at conferences and events each year. Take a look at the list of conferences and let us know if you could help.

Become a speaker

Our speakers are a vital part of our UK team and speak about Mercy Ships at various events in their local areas. All we ask is that speakers do a minimum of six talks a year. Complete your details below and we will get in touch.