Volunteering FAQs 

What is the process to becoming a volunteer?
You will need to find a suitable vacancy from the list available here. You can apply online using the online application form or you can request a paper application form by calling the Volunteer Services Team on 01473 707016. Once we receive your application we will pass it to the relevant department for consideration. 

Will I need to attend an interview?
For all of our roles, except for those with our retail team, an interview is essential as we sometimes have many people apply. If you have added other roles you are interested in and you are unsuccessful in your first choice we will try and match you to another suitable role.

For retail opportunities, volunteers can go to one of our shops, where the manager will offer you a taster session. If this is successful, you will be able to start very quickly.

Is there training available?
All of our volunteers are invited to an induction session where you will find out about the Hospice, our staff and hear from our Chief Executive. You will also have a tour of the Hospice’s Ipswich site. For some roles involving patients, volunteers will need further training in Moving and Handling and this is offered free of charge.  If a role calls for any other specific training then this will be given.

Do I need to have any particular skills to be a volunteer?
Some roles do require a professional qualification or skill in a certain area; however for many roles what is needed is enthusiasm and an interest in people, a sympathetic and caring approach and good listening skills.
Is there a minimum amount of time I need to volunteer?
We try to be as flexible as possible and will talk to you to arrange the times you are available. For some roles the times are fixed and in these cases we would like a commitment to these. 

Our shop managers will be pleased to hear from you even if you only have a couple of hours to spend a week.

Can I volunteer in more than one role?
Yes, if you have the time and the energy.

What age do I need to be to volunteer?
Volunteers are welcomed from age 16 upwards to help in some areas such as shops, fundraising events and to help with administrative work. Volunteers who have contact with patients must be over 18.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?
No - but tell your Job Centre or Benefits Office before volunteering to get their confirmation. There is no maximum limit to the number of hours that you may volunteer, however, if claiming JSA, you must continue to search for paid work and be willing and able to attend an interview giving 48 hours notice.

What happens next?

If you are offered a volunteer role you will be asked to complete some paperwork for our files. We will ask for references and also carry out a DBS (police check)* if your role requires it. Once we have received all of these back and they are satisfactory you will be invited to start your volunteering. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

* We undertake not to discriminate unfairly against anyone who has previous criminal convictions and having a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to involvement as a volunteer with the hospice.