The support provided by volunteers is absolutely vital to the Hospice and ensures that it is able to provide the friendly and dedicated care so necessary to the patients and their families at what is often a very difficult time.
Over 500 people give some of their spare time to help either at the Hospice itself or in one of our 12 shops. Working in conjunction with our staff, these volunteers support us with a huge range of activities.
Volunteers bring a different dimension to our service and add to the quality of the experience of patients and their families. It provides an opportunity to do something that is highly valued and really worthwhile. Volunteers feel it increases their confidence, their life skills and leaves them with a real sense of having contributed to something extremely worthwhile within the local community.
Whatever your background, experience or skills, please look at our Current Vacancies
and contact us either by completing a Volunteer Enquiry Form
or by calling the Volunteering Team on 01923 330330.
Your help will make a real difference.
We trust some of the following information may also help to provide additional background to the numerous ways you can get involved:- SupportAwardsOpportunitiesFrequently Asked QuestionsMy Experiences as a Volunteer
All volunteers work as part of teams and are managed and supported by the person responsible for their team.
You will receive a full induction and training to ensure you feel comfortable and confident in your role. There is also a review to see how you are getting on.
If your initial role is not what you expected, we will try and offer you an alternative if there is one available.
It is important all volunteers get job satisfaction from what they are doing and feel part of a team.
We do not think individuals should be out of pocket as a result of volunteering, and therefore travel expenses can be claimed.
Volunteers play an enormous role in the success of the Hospice helping in many areas such as fundraising, on reception in our 12 shops, with bereavement support, as complementary therapists, working with patients, gardening and in administration. Long service awards are presented to the relevant volunteers at our Annual Volunteers Celebration.
These are just some of the ways in which volunteers help.
We also have qualified volunteers offering complementary therapies and hairdressing and would welcome more professionals to offer these much appreciated services.
Our dedicated team of volunteer receptionists support the senior receptionist during the day and staff the reception area in the evening and at weekends. Volunteers operate the switchboard, organise the post, take messages and welcome patients and visitors to the building.
Volunteers help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and support clinical staff in Day Services and the Inpatient Unit, helping with general tasks which include, answering the telephone, making drinks for patients and visitors and completing patients’ menu orders. Importantly, volunteers have the time to chat with the patients and their visitors and provide a much appreciated listening ear.
Trained volunteers can assist with the following areas, bereavement visiting, counselling, telephone support, social groups, children’s groups and an education programme which is offered to schools. All of our volunteers will be expected to undergo specific bereavement and loss training before they will be dealing with clients.
A team of trained volunteers offer respite to carers as well as carrying out light domestic tasks. They play a key role as part of our Hospice at Home service, providing support with day-to-day tasks and company for patients in their own homes.
Volunteers help the fundraising team regularly each week, whilst many others help with the enormous number of fundraising events held throughout the year. The Hospice simply could not run the huge range of events and activities which, are so crucial in raising the necessary funds to provide our services without the efforts and energy of these volunteers. Volunteers also help with a range of administrative support, working with different teams within the Hospice, to ensure things run smoothly.
A large number of volunteers make up the teams supporting the paid managers at our shops in Watford (2 shops), Garston, Chorleywood, Bushey, Radlett, South Oxhey (2 shops), Borehamwood, Rickmansworth, Tudor and Potters Bar. Volunteers are always needed to assist in sorting donated items, serving customers and helping to make the shops attractive and welcoming.
Volunteer drivers provide transport for patients to and from the Hospice, using either Hospice vehicles or their own cars. All drivers must have full comprehensive motor insurance and the Hospice pays a mileage allowance to cover costs. Some volunteers drive Hospice vehicles to collect and/or deliver donated goods for the Hospice shops.
The wonderful gardens and beautiful flowers arranged around the Hospice, which bring enormous pleasure to patients, visitors and staff alike, are all looked after by a group of skilled and hard working volunteer gardeners.
Volunteers are welcomed from the age of 16. However we do not place volunteers with patient contact until they are at least 18. Those who wish to work with patients must also be good listeners and be able to show understanding. There is no upper age limit, as long as volunteers are well and still able to play a full volunteering role.
There are many ways to help that do not involve direct contact with patients. They include helping with administration, fundraising, laundry, flower arranging, and reception work.
Some volunteers need to have special skills and qualifications e.g. hairdressers and complementary therapists, and those working in bereavement support, but for most volunteer roles a committed and caring approach plus a willingness to learn is all that is required.
Volunteers learn their new role initially by “shadowing” an experienced volunteer, combined with induction training which is provided for all volunteers.
Volunteers are managed and supported by the manager of the area where they work. However volunteers are also supported by the voluntary services team.
Most volunteers do a weekly shift of 3-4 hours. However there are some volunteers who are unable to make a regular commitment and are willing to be called upon on an ad hoc basis.
We do not wish anyone to be out of pocket because of volunteering, so it is possible to claim travel expenses.
Linda, Hospice at Home Volunteer, writes:
After an initial visit with a nurse to be introduced to a patient, I arranged to visit on a weekly basis for about 3 or 4 hours at a time. This gives the patient's carer the opportunity to go shopping, meet a friend, attend to personal matters, or simply to have some time out.
Ian, Inpatient Unit Volunteer, writes:
I work in the Inpatient Unit each Monday from 4pm until 7.30pm. My job is part domestic duties and part social interaction.
I make drinks for patients and relatives, serve the supper, load and empty the dishwasher and generally do anything required that doesn't involve medical knowledge.
Pauline, Reception Volunteer, writes:
The jobs are varied - answering the phones, taking outpatients to appointments, showing visitors to the right places and making them feel comfortable, delivering parcels to the right departments and so much more.
Janet, Laundry Volunteer, writes:
I became the Thursday laundry lady and was let loose with two huge washing machines, driers and an iron. People pop in and out and it is a friendly environment. I hope that I might be contributing towards the comfort and care of the patients, which is what the Hospice is all about, after all.
Whatever your background, experience or skills are, please contact us either by completing a Volunteer Enquiry Form or by calling the Vollunteering Team on 01923 330330.
Your help will make a real difference.