East Lancashire Hospice

Befriending Volunteer

Role                                           Befriending Volunteer

Location                                 Blackburn,­Darwen,­Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Communities.                                         

Responsible to:                    Relevant Head of Service

                                                    (This person will be your main point of contact while

                                                     volunteering.  They will provide you with the support

                                                     and supervision necessary for you to perform your role)


Accountable to:                     Relevant Head of Service

Role requirements:              Minimum age 18 years

                                                       Two Satisfactory references

                                                       Enhanced DBS check (an enhanced DBS check will only be  required for those roles which                                                                 involve, regular, unsupervised    contact with patients)

Role Summary:

Under the guidance of the head of service, you will provide a support and befriending service to empower patients, their families and those that matter to them. Depending on the needs, interests and preferences of those using the service, and in order that quality of life and independence can be promoted, you will provide a listening ear /practical support where appropriate for people in their own homes and/or other community settings,or who are inpatients on our hospice unit.The befriending service will also be available to those who have been bereaved.­Alternatively you may offer support via virtual means such as Skype/Zoom or telephone.

When we need you to be available 

You can volunteer for one or more time slots (eg Morning or Afternoon) each week/month and will be asked to detail your availability on your application form. As we would want continuity for the people using our services, regular availability would be preferred if at all possible.

Skills, knowledge, abilities and qualities

We are looking for individuals with a very wide range of interests, skills and abilities in order that we can best meet the needs of those using our services. This might for example include:

  • The ability to really listen to people and be comfortable with silence when others need quiet time.
  • Good communication skills,­sensitive to the needs of others,­approachable and warm with the ability to build relationships.
  • Experience/­awareness of working with those affecting by bereavement.
  • Experience of using any sort of arts and crafts with individuals and/or groups
  • Interest and ability in gardening and/or outdoor activity or walking
  • An interest in film, theatre, television, reading and news stories
  • An interest in world affairs, nature and the environment
  • An interest in pets and other animals
  • Able to engage in meaningful conversations on topics that matter to individuals
  • Able to read in an interesting way to others, sing and/or play music
  • Enjoyment of table games
  • Ability to support with light domestic/­household duties and/or provide light refreshments
  • Review of this description
  • Work at all times to safeguard the rights of individuals promoting their wellbeing and protecting those at risk from harm, acting on any concerns related to safeguarding children and adults at risk in line with policy and local guidance

This role description is intended as an outline of general areas of activities and will be amended in the light of changing needs of the hospice. 

What we would like you to do

Empower and support people to live their most fulfilling life by maybe--

  • Visiting patients in their own homes,or in the hospice during their inpatient stay to provide companionship,­support and social interaction.
  • Sitting with patients to enable their carers to attend appointments or social events.
  • Accompanying patients to appointments or social events including for example libraries, parks and museums
  • Helping patients continue with their hobbies or pass-times.
  • Pursuing creative activities with individuals in the home environment
  • Supporting Individuals with household duties including snacks and drinks as they gain confidence in their own abilities again.
  • Listen and support individuals,­either face to face or via telephone/­zoom/­skype etc as they explore their preferences and choices for future care
  • Engage with and work alongside individuals to motivate, enthuse, promote independence and empower.
  • To provide light assistance in maintaining gardens and paths where possible with the patient if they are able in order to empower/­increase patient confidence etc
  • To accompany or undertake shopping trips with (or for) patients.
  • Help with care of pets e.g. feeding and walking.
  • Provide assistance with appearance including for example attending to hair,  and painting nails.

What Volunteering can do for you

  • Make a big difference to your own Community
  • Connect with new people
  • Develop new or use existing skills
  • Increase your experience

General Requirements

Undertake training and development applicable to the role.

Be friendly, respectful and courteous to patients, visitors, staff, customers and other volunteers at all times

To ensure the information you have access to as part of your role is kept secure and confidential.

Work at all times to safeguard the rights of individuals promoting their wellbeing and protecting those at risk from harm by advising staff of any concerns

Act in a way that upholds the hospice’s values which are:

Put patients first

  • Respect the individual
  • Act with integrityServe the community
  • Promote positive change 

Equality and Diversity  

We support an inclusive and holistic working environment and aim to empower our people to bring their authentic self to work. We are committed to this and so encourage applications from all individuals with the required skills for the role inclusive of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, colour, caste, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, socio-economic background, trade union membership status, marriage, and civil partnerships.  ELH is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and volunteers.

Review of this description

This role description is intended as an outline of general areas of activities and will be amended in the light of changing needs of the hospice. 

Please complete an application form or contact us to discuss this opportunity further or to arrange to come and meet us.

All enquiries, informal visits and further information regarding the above please contact Gaynor Barlow 01254 965851 or email Gaynor.Barlow@­eastla­nc­shos­pice.­org.­uk