Skip to main content

Frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know about volunteering with us

We really cannot do what we do without the fantastic support of our volunteers. However much time you have, it makes a big difference. The generous gift of your time enables us to: care for patients and families – in the Hospice building and out in the community; ensure the safe running of our building and shops; support our corporate functions such as Human Resources, Finance and Communications; create a calm and comfortable setting for the patients, families and relatives we support.

Thank you for considering to support us by volunteering.

We hope that you will find answers to your questions here. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, have further questions or want more information, then please contact our switchboard on 01923 330 330 and ask to speak to the Volunteering team or email volunteers@peacehospicecare.org.uk

Your time makes all the difference - thank you

Frequently Asking Questions

There are many and varied reasons why people choose to volunteer for us: some have a personal connection with the Hospice and want to give something back; some want to contribute to their local community; some want to use their skills and abilities in a new environment and some want to meet new people. For most it’s usually a combination of reasons. Whatever your reason for considering volunteering, your support will be invaluable to us.

From age 14 - if you are on a Duke of Edinburgh scheme, you can volunteer in one of our shops and be a part of our Retail team who play a crucial role in generating vital income so we can deliver our services. For more information about volunteering as part of your Duke of Edinburgh scheme, please click here.

From age 16 - you can volunteer in our shops, in office support roles, at events as part of the fundraising team. You will need a work permit, which we apply for, contact us for more details.

From age 17 – you can also support patients in some roles in our Inpatient Unit and Starlight Outpatient services.

At age 18 – In addition, you can also be involved in our Herts Neighbours service which provides additional practical and emotional support to individuals and their families within their home or care setting.

Some roles, however, may have additional restrictions depending on the activities and/or responsibilities, such as insurance provisions for volunteer van drivers. (All volunteers who use their own car to support the hospice or transport patients should notify their insurance company that they will be undertaking this in their volunteering role. Volunteers should also notify their insurance that, potentially, they may be carrying oxygen when transporting a patient).

There is no upper age limit.

The role profile will say what the minimum age is so you’ll know when applying but, if you are unsure, please contact us.

Any time you give really does make a big difference. There’s a variety of roles available and the time commitment can vary – some are for shorter periods of time and some require a commitment over months. So, it’s important you know about how much time you are able to give. The role profile will give you more information.

If you can’t find something to suit your availability straight away, please still apply, telling us your interests and skills and when you can volunteer and we will contact you with some options.

It depends on the role you are volunteering to do. Details about the role and the skills needed can be found in the role profiles on our website. If, however, our advertised vacancies don’t quite match your skills, please still apply as volunteering also helps people develop new skills and build on their experience.

As part of the wider team at Peace Hospice Care all volunteers are expected to:

  • Follow our policies and procedures
  • Represent our Mission and Values positively and contribute as a team member

We organise training and induction specific to the volunteer role and there are opportunities to attend additional training too. All Peace Hospice Care volunteers have a member of staff who will manage and support them and experienced volunteers help new members of the team.

We value volunteer expertise so please complete the application form giving details of your skills, qualifications and experience. We will then contact you to discuss opportunities.

Completion of the application process usually takes about 4 weeks from the receipt of the application form to confirmation of a start date, depending on the role. We have an application process which we follow for integrity:

  • The application form is completed online or in a paper version which is sent/given to us.
    • The application will be considered and we will contact you to organise a mutually convenient date and time for you to come and meet us and discuss your application in more detail.
  • If there is a suitable role we will take up two references (these should not be a relative or partner and at least one, if possible, should be a recent work colleague).
  • We carry out an identity check on all our volunteers so you will need to provide one photo identity document (e.g. passport or driving licence). Don’t worry if you don’t have any photo ID as we can discuss this with you.
  • For some volunteer roles we will also carry out a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.
  • Once references have been received and, if appropriate, the DBS check has been completed, a start date will be agreed and you will be invited to attend an induction.

Sometimes people are prompted to volunteer following bereavement. As some of our roles are more emotionally challenging than others. We will discuss your decision to volunteer with you and may offer you a volunteering role which does not bring you into direct contact with patients. For roles within the Bereavement Service we suggest that you wait for two years after the loss of a close relative.

We know, however, that everyone is different. So, if you are keen to volunteer but have had a bereavement less than two years ago, please contact the switchboard on 01923 330 330 and ask to speak to the Volunteering team or email: volunteers@peacehospicecare.org.uk to discuss further.

Volunteers can claim to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses and, depending on the role, they may be able to claim mileage. For instance, those volunteering with the Herts Neighbours service can claim mileage for up to 30 miles round trip per patient per week. For more information, please contact the switchboard on 01923 330 330 and ask to speak to the Volunteering team or email: volunteers@peacehospicecare.org.uk to discuss further.

We will provide a letter confirming your volunteer service to another party directly, after seeking your permission, and not to you or ‘To whom it may concern’. If you are applying for an educational or vocational course it’s suggested that you keep a separate record of your volunteering hours.

If you are receiving state benefits you should be allowed to volunteer. There are some rules, however, that you need to be aware of to make sure that your volunteering doesn’t have an impact on the benefits you receive. Our advice is that you speak to your personal advisor or benefit provider before you start volunteering with us. We can assist by providing your local authority with a copy of your role description and a covering letter confirming your volunteering role.

Yes – we welcome corporate volunteers who wish to support us, either individually or in groups, and want to donate their time throughout the year. Please contact us on volunteers@peacehospicecare.org.uk to discuss opportunities that will suit you and your company.

Yes – a criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t volunteer with us. If you have a criminal record and would like to volunteer we will need to speak to you about this and a decision will be made on an individual basis.