Supporting hands volunteers

As a Supporting Hands Volunteer you'll be matched with patients and their carers who are in need of companionship or practical support with everyday tasks.

Supporting hands volunteers

Opportunity details

Location Bucks and Herts

Team Patients and families

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Likely hours Flexible - but during office hours

What is Supporting Hands?

Supporting Hands is a volunteer-led service that offers companionship and practical support to people living with a progressive life-limiting illness and those who care for them. As well as offering vital support to patients and their families, the scheme frees up valuable nursing time and saves the charity thousands of pounds per year.

Join our team of Supporting Hands volunteers

Since it was established in 2017, our Supporting Hands service has offered companionship and practical support to hundreds of people with a life-limiting illness and those who care for them. Thanks to the merger that formed Rennie Grove Peace, we are in a position to offer this support to more patients and families. But we can’t do this without more volunteers. We currently have more patients waiting for this kind of support than we have volunteers to provide it. Could you spare a few hours each week to join the team and make a difference to patients and families in your area?
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"One of the things I like most about the role is the chance to chat to patients and families. Often they have a steady stream of healthcare professionals visiting their home but this visit is different – I'm not there to discuss anything medical, I’m there to just chat and be with them. This makes a huge difference to both patients and carers."

Alison, Supporting Hands volunteer

Compassionate cafe volunteer with patientThings you might do as a Supporting Hands volunteer

The type of support you offer will vary by patient and be tailored to the individual’s needs. But some things you might do, include:

  • Keeping a patient company and offering supportive companionship
  • Sharing an activity such as a game of chess or cards
  • Providing respite support to give the patient’s carer a break
  • Driving a patient to medical appointments
  • Light housework, gardening or practical tasks

Things you won’t do as a Supporting Hands volunteer

  • Offering medical assistance or advice
  • Full cleaning or gardening service
  • Visiting outside standard office hours (to ensure you always have the support of the service lead available during and after visits)
  • Counselling patients or relatives

Case studies

Read the stories from our volunteers and find out why they love volunteering for us.

  • Maureen’s story

    Maureen has been volunteering with patients and families in their own homes for a number of years. She currently volunteers with Supporting Hands...

  • Sara - Compassionate Neighbour volunteer

    Sara’s story

    Sara has been a longstanding volunteer with Rennie Grove Peace, joining as part of our Compassionate Neigbours scheme and more recently, volunteering with our Supporting Hands service...

  • Volunteer Paul in front of a brick fireplace

    Paul’s story

    Paul volunteers with our Supporting hands service.

Benefits of becoming a Supporting Hands volunteer

Full training and supervision provided You'll attend a one-day training course and will be assigned a line-manager to support you throughout

Make a difference to patients and families The practical and emotional support you provide, will be invaluable to the patients and their families

Free up valuable nursing time The support you provide will help our clinical colleagues focus on patients’ medical needs

This role involves visiting patients and carers in their own homes within our Rennie Grove Peace catchment area across Herts and Bucks.  Volunteers are matched primarily on location meaning that travelling time is kept to a minimum.

One to two hours a week during normal working time plus travelling time.

No previous experience is necessary. We are looking for people with a desire to help, who are good listeners, caring, compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others, trustworthy, reliable and non-judgmental.  Basic IT skills are required to receive and send information electronically and attend virtual supervision/training sessions.

There will be a one-day in person mandatory training session at one of our Rennie Grove Peace sites.  There will be some additional mandatory training for you to complete at the start of your volunteering with us and periodic refresher training. Some elements of the training will be delivered via eLearning.

You will be line managed by the Supporting Hands Lead and as part of your role will attend regular supervision sessions with other volunteers in this role.  You will also have access to support from other members of the Supportive Care team as and when needed.  There will be a short settling-in period to make sure you are happy, and the role is right for you.

We rely on the commitment of our volunteers to support our services, however we understand that you may need to take a break from your volunteering.  Your line manager will be in regular contact during your break and will be happy to discuss any changes to the support you can provide if necessary.  If you have been on an extended break it may be necessary for you to attend some refresher training.