Volunteering FAQs

If you are new to volunteering or have never volunteered with St Gemma’s before, it is natural that you will have lots of questions. If we haven’t answered your question here, or you need further advice or information, please call us on 0113 218 5500.

What age do I have to be?

No young people under the age of 18 years are allowed to volunteer on the main Hospice site, with the exception of fundraising event volunteers.

Volunteers in shops and at fundraising events must be aged 16 or over. However, volunteers aged between 14 and 16 are permitted in shops and at fundraising events as part of either a formal work experience arrangement with their school or as part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The Hospice will ask any young person under the age of 18 who is participating in any voluntary activity to complete a parental consent form. In addition, the Hospice will complete a young person risk assessment.

There is no maximum age as long as you can make a useful and safe contribution, the activity is suitable for your age and won’t harm you in any way.

Am I legally entitled to volunteer in the UK?

If you are a UK Citizen you are free to volunteer. The majority of EU Citizens are free to volunteer within the UK. For those from outside the EU we advise that you contact the UK Borders and Immigration Agency to find out if your visa allows you to volunteer.

Do I need any particular skills or qualifications?

This depends on the volunteer role. For some roles, such as volunteering as a bereavement counsellor, then we would ask you to have a counselling qualification. For other roles, we might be looking for someone who is happy to just get stuck in! The requirements for each role will be set out in each advert or role profile.

I’d like to carry out a clinical placement at the Hospice. How do I get started?

St Gemma’s Hospice Academic Unit of Palliative Care offers clinical placements for healthcare professionals to support their professional development and for undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking courses in healthcare to assist with their studies.

Please be aware that we do not offer clinical/work placements to individuals less than 18 years of age in any area of the Hospice. For more information please visit www.st-gemma.co.uk/AUPC-placement-application, call 0113 218 5500 or email Trish Stockton on TrishS@st-gemma.co.uk.

I have recently suffered a bereavement. Can I volunteer at St Gemma’s?

We will not normally invite you to volunteer with St Gemma’s Hospice if you currently have a relative or friend in the Hospice. We will also usually only invite volunteers to join St Gemma’s Hospice 12 months after a significant loss or bereavement. However, this can be reviewed on a case by case basis. With this in mind, we include a question about losses and bereavements in our volunteer application form.

The company I work for allows me and my colleagues to have time off work to volunteer. Can St Gemma’s host a team of corporate volunteers?

Employee volunteering is a great way of team building whilst helping St Gemma’s and we welcome enquiries.

You might be undertaking tasks such as helping to set up for our events, support on the day of our events (usually weekends), gardening projects, skills sharing, sorting donated stock at our retail warehouse in Bramley, making up fundraising packs, supermarket bag packs and working in our Hospice shops. Volunteers always get a warm welcome and are very much appreciated.

Some volunteering opportunities are in high demand and so are usually reserved for companies that support us as part of a charity of the year partnership. To support St Gemma’s Hospice through workplace volunteering please visit recruitment.st-gemma.co.uk/home/workplace-volunteering/ or contact us on corporatevolunteering@st-gemma.co.uk or call 0113 2185500.

I have a criminal record. Can I volunteer?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from volunteering with us; this will depend upon the nature of the volunteering position and the circumstances and background of your offences. Please read our statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders for full details.

How much time do I need to give?

This varies depending on the role. For some roles, such as helping with collections at supermarkets, there is no minimum time you must give. For other roles, we may ask if you are able to commit to one particular day each week.

Will I be trained?

Yes, but what this training looks like will be different for different roles. Once you start your volunteering, we will let you know of any training requirements. No matter what the role, your supervisor will give you a thorough induction to your role so that you are confident in what we are asking you to do.

How will I be kept up to date with news from the Hospice?

Your supervisor will update you with any news relevant to your role. We also think it is important that we tell you about developments from around the Hospice.

We will post a Newsletter to you three times a year, and send you our ‘Volunteers’ eNews’ via email once a month.

Keeping up to date with our news means that you not only have the latest messages and information for yourself, but also to share with your friends, family and your local community.

How do you reward and recognise your volunteers?

We hold regular volunteer events to say thank you for all of the time and energy that you give so selflessly. These are always sociable, informative, and hopefully fun! Dates will be advertised in the Newsletter, on posters, and through your supervisor. We also celebrate National Volunteers Week in June each year.

Additionally, we often celebrate our volunteers across our social media channels and feature case studies. Please let us know if you would like to be featured!

Will I be insured?

The Hospice’s Liability Insurance covers all volunteers.

However, the insurance policy does not cover volunteers aged under 16 or over 85 for personal assault when undertaking cash handling activities such as using a till, bucket collections or manning a tombola. This means that you would not be covered for any injury caused to you in the unlikely event of a robbery. Therefore, for you protection, you cannot undertake cash handling activities if you are under 16 or over 85.

For some volunteer roles, such as complementary therapy volunteering, we may ask you to arrange your own professional indemnity insurance.

Do you offer expenses?

 If you volunteer for four hours or more in one day, then we can offer expenses for lunch or travel, up to agreed maximum levels.

I’ve decided I’d like to volunteer with you. What do I do now?

Search and apply for opportunities by clicking on ‘Volunteer Opportunities’. Once you’ve sent us your application form, someone will then be in touch to discuss what happens next.

I’d like to volunteer in an area which isn’t listed amongst your volunteer vacancies. Can I help?

We love hearing your ideas about how you can help! However, we do need to make sure that there is a need for volunteers in certain areas and that staff are available to support our volunteers. So if a volunteer vacancy isn’t listed within a particular area, then we may not have the capacity to take on volunteers within that department. However, we always welcome any enquiries, so if you have any skills that you may be able to offer then please get in touch on volunteering@st-gemma.co.uk or 0113 218 5193.

If you have any questions about volunteering at St Gemma’s, please contact:

Tel: 0113 218 5193

Email: volunteering@st-gemma.co.uk