Volunteer opportunity

Community Companions

Community Companions are volunteers who provide social and practical support to patients and their carers.

This role is ideal if you can spare some time on a more regular basis. Training is required as we want you to be a confident ambassador for the charity.

What’s the role?

Community Companions provide support to St Barnabas patients who may feel isolated or find some tasks more difficult to complete on their own. Support could include a cup of tea and chat, going out for a coffee or helping someone with their shopping. Companions can also provide company for a patient so a carer can take a break for a couple of hours.

The role will involve:

  • Offering befriending, outings, sitting or practical support to patients and carers in their own homes.
  • Attending regular peer support meetings (at least twice a year), six monthly reviews and in-house training as required.
  • Completing a monthly activity log.
  • Having an understanding that the role does not involve offering counsel, providing clinical care or delivering any care, advice or information which would require the input of a skilled professional.
  • Communicating any concerns to the Community Companions team.

When will I volunteer?

You’ll be required to make a weekly commitment on weekdays. Usually 2 hours a week plus regular support meetings

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Frequently asked questions

Yes! Full training will be provided before you start. The next training programme will be held over two days on the following dates (subject to available spaces)

You’ll need to have sent us an application form, equal opportunities form and had a meeting with a member of the team before attending the training:

Community Companions Training:

Volunteer Statutory & Mandatory Training:

If you decide to apply for this role you’ll need:

  • A willingness to learn (some of the required skills you will already have and some may require training which we will provide).
  • Excellent communication and listening skills.
  • Reliable and good time-keeping with the ability to operate autonomously. Ability to be non-judgmental and accept people as individuals and to respect their differences.
  • An insight into palliative care and an ability to adjust to being with people in declining health.
  • An ability to manage appropriate boundaries in the befriending relationship whilst showing empathy.
  • The ability to be around people who may be in distress and to remain calm, demonstrating well developed coping strategies.
  • Being flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of the patients.
  • You will need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Respect to individuals and their confidentiality.
  • Any personal grief will need to be resolved before you take on the role.
  • Attend training, regular (at least twice a year) peer support meetings 6 monthly reviews with your line manager.
  • Ability to meet hospice requirements for driving if agreeing to take patients on outings in own car (a driving observation, tax, insurance, annual driving license check).
  • The ability to work independently in a rewarding volunteer role.
  • We will provide you with comprehensive training which will include – the principles of palliative care, boundaries, lone worker training, moving and handling, data protection, confidentiality and safeguarding.
  • Plus ongoing support and guidance with the opportunity to attend any additional internal training that may be relevant to the role.

Hear from one of our volunteers

Being a Community Companion for St Barnabas House

Other volunteer opportunities

We have a number of different volunteering roles at our fundraising events, in the community and in our charity shops. Find your perfect role today!

Volunteer opportunities