Ward Volunteer

Cornwall Hospice Care is a 24/7 Cornish healthcare charity that provides specialist support for people with terminal illnesses. Our clinical teams support in and out patients and their families at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell, St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle and in Cornwall’s hospitals, care homes and in the community.

Most patients come into our units because they are having a difficult time with particular symptoms or because of the overall impact of their illness. Volunteers are integral to the care offered at the hospice. They bring a breadth of experience, skill and ability to all areas of hospice care.

Main Duties 

The role of the volunteer is to support the structure and organisation of the In-Patient Unit to ensure that every patient and their family members have a positive experience. Volunteers play a vital role in helping patients feel cared about, comfortable and relaxed. There are number of specific responsibilities within the volunteer remit. These may vary in relation to the needs of each patient and the shift time.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensuring the handover sheet is up to date with the ward staff before starting.
  • Changing the patients’ drinking water jug and providing clean glasses.
  • Making teas and coffees for the patients and their visitors.
  • Serving the patients their meals from the main kitchen, ensuring at all times that a member of staff is available to help any patient that needs assistance.
  • Collecting trays and dishes when meals are finished.
  • Replenishing stock, ensuring patients’ crockery and cutlery are available in the ward kitchen.
  • Checking and preparing trays for serving drinks.
  • Tending the flowers around the Hospice including those in the patients’ rooms.
  • Chatting with patients and their relatives.
  • Tidying the concourse area and relatives room and ensuring there are supplies of fresh milk, tea, coffee and sugar.

Hours of Work

Preferably weekly or fortnightly

Morning shift          8.45 – 1.00

Afternoon shift        1.00 (or 2.00) – 4.00

Evening shift           4.00 – 8.00

Volunteers will also be expected to attend any meetings or training where appropriate.

 Person Specification

Essential skills and qualities

  • Be able to listen and empathise.
  • Sensitive to the needs of those affected by life-limiting illnesses.
  • Courteous, friendly and approachable.
  • Possess good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Be presentable regarding dress code (casual smart).
  • Be able to cope in a sometimes busy environment.
  • Enjoy meeting and dealing with a variety of people.
  • Be able to work effectively in a team.
  • Have a good understanding of confidentiality.
  • Have a good understanding of personal and professional boundaries.
  • Sense of humour.
  • Commitment to the ethos of Cornwall Hospice Care.

Induction and Training

All new volunteers are expected to attend an induction session which includes the code of conduct, health and safety processes, confidentiality policies, fire evacuation procedures, infection prevention and control measures as well as other important and relevant Hospice information and core training.

Volunteers will also be expected to complete mandatory training sessions and relevant courses in order to keep up to date with organisational and legal regulation changes.

There is a requirement that the volunteer maintains regular contact with the Volunteer Services team, and takes responsibility for communication regarding their role and responsibilities and links into all relevant volunteer programs (induction, meetings, training sessions etc.)

What you can expect from Cornwall Hospice Care

  • To be valued and respected
  • To receive appropriate induction and training
  • To have adequate support and supervision
  • To have a safe working environment
  • To be reimbursed for reasonable out of pocket expenses

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and references:

This position is subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check at Standard Level.

Volunteers will also be required to provide 2 references and attend an interview.

Want to join our team?


You can read stories and watch videos from our existing volunteers to find out more about volunteering with Cornwall Hospice Care