Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. In fact, over 40 years ago the Hospice was founded by a small group of volunteers.

Today, more than 1,000 people give their time so we can continue to offer free care to people with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

View our vacancies

Learn new skills, meet new people, give back to your community

We have a number of different volunteering opportunities throughout the organisation, from assisting the teams at Winsley to supporting in our charity shops.

Whether you have a personal connection with Dorothy House, or you just want to give something back to your local community, we want to hear from you.

If you would like more information on work experience placements click here.

If you are a current volunteer, please log in using the button below.

Volunteer log in

Why volunteer for us?

Everyone is motivated by different reasons for wanting to volunteer:

  • Making a difference in your local community
  • Using your skills for a good cause
  • Gaining valuable experience
  • Boosting your CV
  • Being part of a team

We do everything we can to make the experience as rewarding as possible:

  • Full training provided
  • Regular supervision
  • Flexible hours
  • Out of pocket expenses paid
Volunteer at the Hospice

Volunteers are incredibly valuable in contributing to the services of our clinical and administrative teams.

Some of our Hospice volunteers provide important support to our patients and their loved ones, including through bereavement. Additionally, there are other care and befriending roles that help support the daily running of our Inpatient Unit and Day Patient services at Winsley.

We also rely on volunteers to support us in different teams such as gardening, reception and in Fundraising where you can assist with a variety of activities and events!

Volunteer in a shop

More than 600 people volunteer for us in our 25 shops and their efforts make a huge difference! Our shops provide us with over 10% of our income. There are plenty of different roles available, in a range of locations. So why not consider joining our team? It’s a great chance to gain new skills and meet new people.

Here are just a few ways you could get involved:

  • Serving customers – Are you a great team player? Do you enjoy meeting people and sharing common interests? Do you want to build a CV in sales and people skills?
  • Sorting our donations and getting them ready for sale – Do you have an eye for a great bargain? Are you able to identify quality items? Think you can make sure that the right stock goes out for sale?
  • Window dressing and displays – Do you have creative flair? Can you come up with new ideas and eye catching window themes? Will you bring fresh eyes to our visual merchandising? You may be an art or design student or someone with a natural talent for display.
  • Do you have a particular area of interest – share your knowledge with our shops, become a bric a brac champion or book specialist?

To find out about vacancies in your area, please get in touch with your local shop or browse current vacancies here.

Volunteering FAQs
Why does Dorothy House involve volunteers?

We love volunteers being part of what we do, because…

  • people want to help
  • they enable us to deliver services which we otherwise could not afford to
  • they help us to keep costs down so that our services will always be free for our patients
  • some services are better delivered by volunteers
  • they bring ideas, skills and experiences to complement those of paid staff
  • it helps us keep in touch with the community


How many volunteers do you have?

As at the end of FY22/23 we had just over 1000 volunteers.


Do you pay expenses for volunteers?

Yes, reasonable out of pocket expenses (such as bus fares or car mileage) are reimbursed.


Do you need to have previous experience to be a volunteer?

This really depends on the role. Some volunteer roles (such as bereavement workers and complementary therapists) require you to have a relevant qualification and experience. However, for most of our roles, we just need you to have the right attitude, be committed and have a willingness to learn.


What is the minimum time commitment for a volunteer?

Some roles require as little as four hours per fortnight, while others demand a greater commitment. For further details see the relevant Role Description and Person Specification.


How long are volunteers expected to stay in their role?

Some of our volunteers have been with us for over 35 years – but we don’t expect that of everyone! We usually encourage people to think of it as a commitment for at least a year. This ensures that you get the most out of the experience and that we get a good return on our investment in recruiting and training you. Often people will move from one role to another.


What sort of training do you offer?

All volunteers and staff are required to attend the Dorothy House Core Induction and to complete several online training modules – these are a requirement of our contract with the NHS. Some roles require you to attend further special training. You will also have the opportunity to shadow another volunteer until you feel confident in the role.


What sort of screening do you do for volunteers?

We always follow up references for volunteers and some roles require Disclosure and Barring Service checks. Additionally, there are a few roles that demand an Occupational Health check.


What is your minimum age for volunteers?

Our minimum age for volunteers is 16 but there are some age restrictions for certain roles. Sometimes we will take on people as young as 14 if they are part of an organised programme such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.


What is your maximum age for volunteers?

There is no specific upper age limit for volunteering with us but many roles require volunteers to be physically fit and some are subject to Occupational Health checks.


Can I volunteer even though I have been recently bereaved?

After someone close to you has died, we recommend that you wait at least 12 months before applying to volunteer in the a Hospice role. However, you may like to consider helping out in one of our shops.


Can I volunteer even though I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily exclude you from volunteering with us. It depends on the role that you are applying for and the nature of your offence. Hospice volunteer roles are excluded from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, meaning that applicants and their referees are not entitled to withhold information about convictions. We will therefore ask applicants to disclose spent or unspent convictions. These details will be treated in confidence.


Do you take Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme students?

Yes, usually in retail; contact your local Dorothy House shop to see whether they have openings available.


Can you accommodate groups of people who wish to volunteer as a one off?

We are sometimes able to host groups of volunteers – usually in retail. Please contact us to discuss this further.


Do you take on people for work experience?

These opportunities are very limited but we do help where we can. If you can make a regular commitment then volunteering is a great way to get work experience. But, if you’re looking for a short-term work opportunity, please contact us.


What is Investors in Volunteering?

Dorothy House has held Investing in Volunteers accreditation since 2006. This quality mark assesses our volunteer programme against a set of good practice criteria such as: commitment to volunteering, diversity of volunteers, fairness of recruitment processes and quality of support and supervision.