Frequently Asked Questions

North London Hospice serves the boroughs of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey, and we are now able to offer some of our services in Camden and Islington. Volunteers are an essential part of the hospice team, helping to ensure our patients, and those who love and care for them, are supported, our shops offer high-quality and friendly service, and our fundraising events are a success.  

We want the best of life, at the end-of-life, for everyone. Both individually and collectively volunteers make a huge difference to our work, providing palliative care and support, when and where people need us most. It costs nearly £16 million annually to run the hospice and the need for our services is growing. By volunteering you will make a real difference in your local community, helping to ensure hospice care is available for people both now and in the future. 

Volunteers come from all walks of life. You may be studying, working, retired, looking for work, or seeking asylum. Perhaps you’ve been given time off to volunteer by your company. We welcome applications from all people in our community and want our volunteers to reflect the diversity of the boroughs we serve. Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is central to all we do. 

Every volunteer will have their own reasons for volunteering. When you’re donating your time, skills and experience, it’s important you get something back too. This may include: 

  • Gaining experience to get into work or change career 
  • Supporting a cause that’s meaningful to you 
  • Meeting new people 
  • Contributing to the local community 
  • Using your skills or experience to help others 
  • Doing something completely new and different 
  • Learning new skills or continuing with your professional development 

Think about what motivates you and choose a role that feels right. Have a look at some of the other questions and their answers to choose the best role for you.  

Our age restrictions are due either to the nature of the role or limits of our insurance policy. Our youngest volunteers are 14 years oldat this age, you may volunteer in one of our shops or help the fundraising team with events, enabling us to raise vital funds to support our work.  Retail volunteers under the age of 18 are supervised by shop staff who have been checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Other hospice volunteer roles are suitable for those aged 18 years and above. But there is no upper age limit to be a volunteer! 

We hope volunteers will stay for as long as it is mutually beneficial. The length of training before you may begin varies, some roles may start almost immediately after being accepted with training provided on-the-job, such as in our charity shops. Other roles may have training which must be completed first. This varies in length depending on the role. If you are considering a role with lots of training up-front, please think first about how long you plan to stay to make it worthwhile.  

Overall, we are looking for people who work in line with our values and are: 

  • Kind and compassionate, with the ability to empathise without judgement. 
  • Able to work well with others as part of the whole hospice team. 
  • Respectful of all cultures, lifestyles, and beliefs. 
  • Reliable and dependable; you will have considered how volunteering fits into your busy life so you may meet the time expectations of the role. 

If this sounds like you, please do apply! 

As described above, different roles require different levels of training, so have a think about how quickly you’d like to start. Some roles may begin straight away and for others you’ll have to wait until training is completed so you are prepared fully for your role. Training is a mix of face-to-face, online and on-the-job. If there is an online element, don’t worry if you have no internet access, or are not computer confident, we can help you with this. You will be provided with the resources and support you need to do your role safely and effectively. For roles with more in-depth training, this may be spread over several weeks. Training is run at different times over the year, including some weekends and evenings, as well as during office hours

In order for us to comply with our legal obligations, we provide free mandatory training for all our volunteers.

We offer volunteer roles which take place on weekends and evenings as well as during the day, so hopefully you’ll find something to suit your availability. Some roles are even more flexible, and you can decide when is best to carry them out. Training may sometimes need to be delivered during office hours so we may ask you to occasionally be available during this time.  

That is great! You may be interested in our Summer or Autumn School, which are aimed at those aged 15-19 considering a career in medicine, nursing or health and social care. The three day workshop allows you to experience the work environment of the hospice, meet members of the health care team and enhance your CV. Sessions will cover the aims and principles of palliative care, understanding perspectives on death and dying, communication at the end of life and accessing support services. You can find out more information in our Education Prospectus.

We would want to discuss this with you to make sure you are ready to volunteer. Looking after the wellbeing of service users and your wellbeing is our priority It could be that there is an alternative role for you to undertake until you feel ready to work closely with patients and service users. 

The hospice is for those of any faith or none. You may certainly volunteer if you are religious or not, all we ask is that you are respectful of difference. We recognise the richness in all kinds of difference, whether cultural, ethnic, age, sexual orientation, gender, or religious. The difference that you bring is welcome, and we look for an equal measure of respect for the difference you encounter in other people, whether patients, staff, or other volunteers. 

We do not recruit for everything all the time, so if you’d like to find out more about our current vacancies, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We warmly welcome your interest. Just email volunteer@northlondonhospice.co.uk or call 020 8156 4520 (voicemail) and leave a message with your name and number. One of our friendly team will get back to you as soon as possible to talk through what’s available. 

We may be able to develop a role especially for you if you have specialist skills or experience which may benefit our work. So, there isn’t a comprehensive list of roles as this changes all the time to suit the needs of patients and the organisation.

North London Hospice welcomes generous, compassionate and dedicated volunteers. With them we can ensure that our patients and their families feel supported by the community around them. Ready to volunteer? Please call 020 8156 4520 (all calls go directly to a voicemail and a member of our team will be get back to you shortly) or email our Volunteer Training and Support team.

You can register your interest in volunteering at one of our shops by signing up for a no-obligation taster session. A taster session gives you the opportunity to try out the different tasks involved, see the environment, and learn a bit more about how our shops work before you decide whether you’d like to volunteer for us.

Find out more about how to apply.

For a hospice role, you will be sent a link to our application form. The completed form will automatically populate our volunteering database (please make a note of your username and password for future use). Your application will be picked up by a member of the volunteering team who will forward it to the service area where you wish to volunteer. This may take up to a week or so.  

Once the service area has received your completed application, a member of the team will be in touch to invite you in for an interview. This is an informal chat so we can find out more about you, and so you can find out more about the role and the hospice to check that it’s the right opportunity for you.  

Following this, if both you and the hospice are happy to go ahead with your volunteering placement, we will send you an offer email. We will request two references and, for some roles, also a disclosure and barring service check. For certain roles we may also need to check your qualifications or driving details. When all your checks are complete, we will be in touch to arrange your training and next steps to start.  

The quickest way to volunteer at one of our shops is to pop into your local branch and speak directly to the shop manager. They may then arrange a trial shift, so you are able to start as soon as possible.