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What's it like to be a St Barnabas House volunteer?

Discover the benefits of volunteering, what it is really like to be a hospice volunteer for St Barnabas House, and how important your help really is. You can also take a look at our volunteering FAQs.


Mike’s Story

Mike has been a Community Companion for two years. Companions support patients who may feel isolated or find some tasks difficult to complete on their own.

Talking about his role Mike said: “it gives me the opportunity to spend some one to one time with patients. It’s also great to take people out, some of these patients are unable to get out of their houses for themselves. So to take them for a coffee is a big benefit for them but also its a big benefit for me because you really feel like you are making a difference in their lives. I feel privileged to do the role, and being a community companion is amazing”

Here Mike shares why he wanted to volunteer for St Barnabas and what he enjoys about it:

Become a Community Companion

Barbara’s Story

Barbara began volunteering for St Barnabas the year after her husband passed away at the hospice.

Barbara told us: “my husband and I moved down here from York to retire in 2010. Within five weeks, my husband was diagnosed with terminal lung/brain cancer; a total shock to us as we had so looked forward to starting our retirement in Worthing.

We were referred to St Barnabas straight away, and it soon became a very special place to us both. The night before he died, we watched the final of “Strictly” together and he told me that when he died I should go along and help the nurses as they were very busy. He was quite adamant that I did this and for once in my life I did as I was told.

The year after he’d passed away, I began volunteering on the In-patient Unit reception desk and have been here ever since. I leave my shift each week knowing I have done what my husband wanted and maybe just helping someone going through the same things I have.”

Hospice volunteering roles

Jacob’s Story

Jacob has been a volunteer shop assistant at one of our St Barnabas House shops for five years.

He said: “I have volunteered for five years at the shop. I like being really busy and I especially enjoy doing the sorting out the back and doing a variety of things in the shop too. I really like working with everyone in the shop and it is great work experience.”

Retail volunteering roles

Geoff’s story

Geoff Vine has been a volunteer driver for 11 years. He is also a garden volunteer.

He said: “I love picking people up and seeing how much they appreciate coming to the Day Hospice and what a difference it makes to them.

“When you bring someone to the Day Hospice for the first time, they’re often very nervous, but when you pick them up at 3pm they’ve had a great time and always say how they’ve met nice people and been fed well!”

Click on the link below to view current volunteering opportunities at St Barnabas House.

Current volunteering opportunities

Mark’s story

“We lost my Uncle to cancer, and although he never got to use St Barnabas, when it came to doing a run to raise money in his memory, they seemed the perfect choice. I had done a few runs for charity already but never really felt a part of them, well until I met the amazing people at St Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House.

From day one everyone was so different, Jo invited me down to a runners’ coffee morning, We walked in and were immediately greeted by Jo who knew who I was and what I was going to attempt, immediately you notice, it’s about the people first. Well I did the 2 half marathons and the support was amazing both before and after and not once did you ever feel like it was just about the money.”

Mark then went on to volunteer at the Brighton Marathon.

“You are as much a part of the day as the runners and although you are there to help them, you always have a great enjoyable day and the spirit amongst the volunteers is brilliant. If you have ever thought of volunteering,  give it a go!”

Seven years on and Mark has ran or cheered at every Brighton marathon since and one volunteering event has turned in to 20-30 a year for us! Mark has taken part in so many events for us, and volunteered countless times. Thank you so much Mark!

Event volunteering opportunities