Call from hospice for volunteers to support families

Categories: Care.

A Worcestershire hospice is calling for caring and compassionate people to step forward as volunteers and help make a difference to patients or bereaved people when they need it most.

St Richard’s Hospice, based in Worcester, is aiming to boost the number of volunteers helping the Family Support Team.

There are currently two types of volunteer roles available, Family Support Volunteers and Community Volunteers.

The Family Support Volunteer role involves giving emotional support to patients and bereaved people either face-to-face at the hospice or through telephone calls, for about two or three hours a week. Volunteers will be given a full induction to the hospice, training, support and guidance.

Jessica Harrison recently trained as a Family Support Volunteer.

She explained, “I first found out about volunteering at St Richard’s Hospice when I contacted Andy, who is the specialist palliative care social worker from the Family Support Team. As a primary teacher, I felt passionate about supporting children with bereavement and wanted to develop my skills further whilst helping a local charity that had supported so many children and families within the community.

“Andy was so lovely and really took the time to share his experience and explain the different projects that I could support the team with. I knew immediately that St Richard’s would be the perfect charity to volunteer with.

“Since joining, I have received high-quality training in bereavement and working directly with children and families. I have learned a great deal and come away with lots of ideas and activities. The team at St Richard’s is very friendly and always happy to help volunteers with any questions they might have.

“For anyone that is looking for an opportunity to help support the local community, meet new people, have fun at volunteer events or develop new skills, I would highly recommend volunteering with St Richard’s.”

Family Support Services Manager, Matt Jackson said: “Our Family Support Volunteers provide the most wonderful care and compassion for our patients, caregivers and those that are bereaved. They provide crucial support for those going through such difficult times in their lives, giving them space and time to share their story and find ways to support themselves and others. The family support team really values all our wonderful volunteers, the incredible work they do and we feel so grateful they are part of the team.”

St Richard’s is also looking for caring, friendly people who like helping others to join their team of Community Volunteers.

Potential volunteers would have two or three hours a week to spare to offer companionship and help such as light shopping and housework for patients and their families at home.

Mr Jackson said, “It can be these small but important acts that can make a real difference to someone living with a serious illness and their carers. These visits and conversations offer companionship and ease the anxiety that can result from people feeling isolated at home.”

Find out more about both roles and apply on the St Richard’s website

You can also contact St Richard’s People Services on 01905 763963 or

St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.

Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,100 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

It costs £8.75m to run the hospice (20/21 audited accounts), which includes patient care and all the necessary support services.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with the remainder funded by the NHS.

For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit


Who does St Richard’s Hospice care for?

St Richard’s cares for people with a serious progressive illness who have complex needs which cannot be met by other services. These include cancer, and neurological, respiratory, cardiac and renal conditions.

All its services are available to people registered with a South Worcestershire GP. The St Richard’s In-patient Unit cares for people across Worcestershire.

St Richard’s cares for people by:

  • early involvement in the course of a person’s illness alongside other therapies that are intended to prolong life
  • enabling people to manage their illness and remain independent for as long as possible
  • helping people to control their pain and other worrying symptoms
  • helping people with emotional, social, practical and spiritual issues
  • supporting families and carers before and through bereavement
  • working in partnership with other health care providers and organisations
  • encouraging wider understanding that death is a part of life
  • supporting the local community to be well informed about the care available to them
  • supporting the health and social care workforce through education to provide high-quality, individualised care.

Where they care

St Richard’s offers free care and support for people in the hospice, in the community, in GP surgeries, at clinics or by telephone.

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