Volunteering at the Hospice

Volunteers help us to provide exceptional care

Whatever your working or life experience, by volunteering for our hospice, you can make a difference to the lives of the patients we look after, their loved ones, and their professional carers.

Volunteers help us provide all of the services that make hospice care truly special.

Every year the hospice offers care and support through a wide range of services to local people with terminal illnesses - that might be a friend, neighbour or a member of your family.

What could you do?

We have various volunteer roles available; if you have a skill and a desire to make a difference - we can find a way for you to help. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to give, whether it’s helping at one of our fundraising events a couple of times a year, supporting us in one of our shops at a weekend, volunteering as part of the telephone bereavement service in the evening or helping with the upkeep of our beautiful gardens, we can be flexible to meet your availability and interests. There's no minimum commitment.

Many people use volunteering as a route into paid employment, and as well as giving you training specific to your role, you could have access to additional opportunities across the hospice as they become available to develop more skills and confidence.

Get in touch

To find out more about volunteering or to have your questions answered, please contact our Volunteers Department on 020 8320 5812 or email us.

Our Volunteers say...

I feel I can help to make coming to the Hospice more accessible, friendlier and a less daunting experience at a time when people are worried and need reassurance


I love volunteering for the Hospice in the garden because there is a calming and relaxing atmosphere, everyone is nice and the staff very supportive


Our commitment to volunteers

Our volunteers make an enormous contribution to all areas of the Hospice and without them, we simply couldn’t offer the care and services that we do. We truly value the contribution that each and every volunteer makes to the Hospice and want to ensure that every volunteer is well prepared and supported in their roles. We offer every volunteer the following:

  • We will treat you fairly, equally and with respect – and ask that you treat others similarly.
  • We will ensure you are properly-prepared, with appropriate training and opportunities, so that you can flourish in the role you choose.
  • We will give you clear guidance and will support the development of your role and relationship with the Hospice.
  • We will ensure that your supervisor provides you with support.
  • Our Volunteers Team will help you through the signing up process and will support you, and your supervisor.
  • We will ensure you understand what is expected of you – and what you can expect from us.
  • We will ensure that you are volunteering in a safe environment.
  • We will listen to you if things are not going well – and would like you to tell us if they are not.
  • We will not forget the commitment you are making – and recognise that you will have other commitments.
  • We will respect your views, interests and your uniqueness – we value everyone for their individual contribution.
  • We will make sure that you are kept up-to-date with what’s going on in & around the Hospice.
  • We will not tolerate disrespectful behaviour towards volunteers, staff, supporters, patients or members of the public.

Volunteering FAQs

How much time do I have to give as a volunteer?

What would you like to give? We have volunteers who give time once a year and others who volunteer several times a week – there’s something for everyone.

What will I get out of volunteering?

We hope that volunteering with Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice will be a positive and rewarding experience. By volunteering your skills, time and experience you will know you are enabling people in your local community to have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it. As an enthusiastic member of our volunteering team, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills and make a difference.

What skills do I need to volunteer?

Skills vary depending on which role you are interested in. Further details are included within the role descriptions. However, as a Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice volunteer, there is a requirement for you to:

  • follow our policies and procedures and
  • represent the Hospice and our values positively

What is the volunteering application process?

All roles require you to complete an application form; for help completing the form please contact the Volunteers Department on 0208 320 5812 or volunteersdept@gbch.org.uk.

A DBS check will be required for all volunteers based within the main Hospice site and for volunteers who provide services to patients’ homes and fundraising volunteers.

Shop volunteers have the opportunity to do a taster session at their preferred shop. Taster sessions enable volunteers to experience the role - and we can jointly check that it is the best role for you. During this period, references are requested. Applicants will only become hospice shop volunteers once references have been returned and taster sessions successfully completed.

For some posts, a short informal interview will be held. This is more likely for patient facing posts.

I don’t know which role would suit me. Can I talk to someone about the options?

Yes. If you are not sure which of our volunteer roles is right for you, or if you have skills and experiences to offer which do not match any of our available roles, then please contact the volunteering team on 0208 320 5812, as there will be something to suit everyone. We want to make the most of your skills and talents!

What age do I need to be to volunteer?

Each role description will specify the minimum age you will need to be to undertake the role. As a general rule:

  • anyone over the age of 16 can apply to help with fundraising roles or to volunteer in the Hospice building itself. We will need consent from a parent/guardian for volunteers who are over 16 and under 18 years old.
  • anyone over the age of 18 can apply to volunteer in one of our shops, in eCommerce, or to be a Compassionate Neighbour.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

No. Volunteering does not affect the benefit payments you receive. Volunteers are not paid for their time. If you are in any doubt, please speak to your Benefits Advisor.

Will it cost me anything to volunteer?

Volunteers should not be out of pocket as a result of volunteering for us. We reimburse reasonable expenses within agreed guidelines.

I have recently been bereaved myself - do I need to wait before I can volunteer?

This is definitely something we would want to talk to you about to ensure you are ready and able to volunteer productively and safely. Your wellbeing is important to us so it may be that we find an alternative role for you until you are ready to work closely with patients and their families.

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