Frequently Asked Questions

We ask that you are at least 16 years old when you apply to volunteer with us, but there is no upper age limit! All we ask is that you feel physically and mentally prepared for any role you are interested in. Each of our role descriptions provides information about the demands and responsibilities it entails and there will be an opportunity for you to talk to us about any concerns you may have about the demands of the role.

We have a partnership arrangement for clinical placements with local universities, so please enquire at your training provider about opportunities.  If you are interested in a placement supporting another function, please check the Current Vacancies page in the first instance.

We are currently unable to offer placements to anyone aged under 16 which often means that we cannot offer volunteering for those undertaking their Bronze award.  If you are interested in supporting us at the hospice or at one of the shops, please check the role description for the required time commitment.  As most of our roles require a 6 or 12 month commitment, we may ask you to complete more hours than are needed for your silver or gold awards.  If you are able to make the commitment to remain with us for the duration of the role, you are of course, welcome to count the hours towards your award.  

Not necessarily, though some convictions may be incompatible with some of our roles.

Volunteering at the hospice is not exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) as it may involve contact with patients. and therefore we must ask you to declare any convictions you may have had including those which may be considered spent. 

Any information given is, of course, in confidence and considered only in relation to the role for which you are applying.  Please be prepared to discuss the nature of the offence and when it occurred in confidence with our volunteer recruitment team. 

This information will not prevent us from inviting you in to discuss volunteering with us but all roles involving potential contact with patients are subject to a DBS check.  

This will depend on the role you are interested in, but will normally be between 2 and 4 hours per week, or a morning/afternoon if you are volunteering in one of the shops.

It is sometimes possible to “role share” with another volunteer, so please let us know if you think fortnightly volunteering would suit you better.

In order to provide operational continuity for our users and supporters, we ask for a minimum commitment of 6-12 months for most roles.  We are aware that circumstances can alter quickly for volunteers, so ask that you just keep us up to date with any changes to your availability.  You can also help us plan for operational continuity by letting us know of any planned holidays or other absences when you join the team.

The quick answer is no! We do however ask that prospective volunteers want to join the team and feel they have the skills, attitudes and aptitudes outlined on the role description…or the willingness to work towards them.  

That said, there are some roles such as hairdressing, spiritual support and complementary therapies which require professional qualifications and in some cases your own insurance.

The easiest way to apply is by expressing your interest here.

After we have received your details, we will contact you. Normally this will lead to completing a fuller application form and once we have compared your availability and preferences against our current vacancies we will invite you in for an informal interview at the Hospice or one of our shops.

For some roles we will ask you to provide at least two references, which should be from people who are able to comment on your suitability and aptitudes for the role(s) you are interested in.  

Referees should not be anyone you are related to or live with – ideally they will include a work or study-related referee from your current employment/education.

Some commonly asked referees include:

  • Your tutor or line manager
  • A course tutor
  • A neighbour or friend/friend of the family who has known you for at least 2 years
  • A work colleague who has known you for at least 2 years
  • Your work programme coordinator or job centre advisor, where you have seen them for 6 months or more.

We do not recommend that you ask your GP to act as a reference.

If you have any queries about referees, please contact the volunteering team for an informal chat.

We are pleased to offer a reference to any volunteer who has completed at least six months of regular volunteering with us. This length of time allows us to comment in sufficient detail for prospective employers and to support university applications.