Carers and volunteers doing arts and crafts at Skanda Vale Hospice

Volunteer role description

  • Location: Working remotely for a minimum of 10 hours per month.
  • Time offering: Ideally, we would like you to commit to volunteering with us for a period of 12 months or longer.
  • This role is supported by: The Companion Lead.
  • Expenses: We cover volunteer expenses and personal articles required for the role, offer great food and refreshments on-site, and host fun team days.
What will this role involve day-to-day?

We know that loneliness and isolation are significant issues for many of our patients, so our companions are there to offer valuable support to them and their carers in a number of ways. That can be face-to-face during Day Hospice and Respite, or by regular phone support (or if patients prefer) email or video meetings.

They provide a `befriending’ service, giving our patients / carers time to talk about how they are doing, to share any concerns and just to chat about life in general. The individuals they support will each have been assessed by our nursing team and have an agreed care plan in place.

Working with the Companion Lead our companions report back to them with a quick and easy online form after their chats with patients. That ensures we keep informed of what is happening with individuals, and that our nursing team can address any concerns companions have about their wellbeing.

Our companions offer a friendly ear and a compassionate and confidential space for people to talk, but they are not counsellors or therapists and are not expected to act as such. All our companions work within clear professional boundaries to ensure the protection of everyone.

All our companions will be volunteering their skills as individuals as well as part of a team and they will receive regular support and supervision from the Companion Lead.

Personal qualities & skills

  • Essential: Experience of supporting people going through a difficult time and providing a friendly ear to listen.
  • Desirable: Experience of working with / supporting vulnerable people.
  • Essential: An understanding of the importance of confidentiality and the need to carefully manage personal and sensitive information.
  • Desirable: An understanding of what a hospice does and the people it cares for.

Qualities, skills and abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including active listening and effective written and oral communication.
  • A willingness to talk about potentially challenging situations and subjects.
  • A warm, compassionate and approachable manner.
  • A genuine interest in people and an accepting attitude no matter who they are.
  • Mindfulness of the needs of the person you are there to support.
  • Commitment and reliability.
  • The ability to remain calm and to manage people’s concerns empathically, whilst not trying to solve problems alone or offer advice.
  • Patience in listening.
  • IT skills.
  • Willingness to work as part of a team and also independently.
  • Sense of humour.
  • Willingness to ask for support as needed.
  • The ability to communicate in Welsh

This Role Description is not exhaustive. It is an outline of the key expectations and will be reviewed periodically with amendments made following consultation with the role holder(s).

Confidentiality – Please be aware of the confidential nature of our organisation. Information about patients and their carers, friends and relatives must not be disclosed to any unauthorised persons. This essential duty of confidentiality also extends to the use of social media.

Apply now

Before you start, make sure you have the names, numbers and email addresses of two referees (non-family members) who you’ve known for two or more years.