Volunteer Befriender

  • Hours: Voluntary 1-2 hours per week
  • Base: Barnsley Hospice, Gawber
  • Closing date: 21 April 2024
  • Contact Director of Nursing & Allied Health Professionals, Ross Fletcher, for further information – ross.fletcher@barnsley-hospice.org

We have an exciting volunteer opportunity to join #TeamHospice as a Volunteer Befriender!

In this role, you’ll be a listening ear for patients at the hospice whilst providing emotional support and reducing feelings of isolation.

Please note: all applicants must be over 18 to volunteer at the hospice and Retail Hub.

Main Duties & Responsibilities

  • Often patients affected by life-limiting illness are, or are in danger of becoming, lonely and/or isolated. This can be due to such things as reduced mobility, lack of confidence, bereavement, etc. Social distancing is likely to compound these feelings. Volunteer befriending can help to create new friendships, that help to keep people connected.
  • Our volunteer Befrienders will work with adult patients, with a variety of experiences, interests, preferences and befriending needs.
  • Work independently as directed by the Ward Manager exercising judgement, and providing any feedback to the Inpatient Unit multi-disciplinary team (MDT).
  • Ensure all possible steps are taken to safeguard the welfare, safety and security of patients, visitors, and staff in accordance with hospice policies.
  • Always promote and demonstrate effective communication with patients, carers, and colleagues. Recognise the need for confidentiality.
  • Report any untoward incidents to the Nurse in Charge.
  • Promote dignity, respect, and comfort whilst acknowledging the diverse needs of patients and their relatives.
  • Treat all patients, relatives, and colleagues with respect in accordance with hospice values and policies.
  • Actively engage in good team working to facilitate effective relationships with all health care professionals.

Other Responsibilities

  • To undertake any other duties, commensurate with the role as required by the hospice management.
  • To act as an ambassador of the hospice, maintaining honesty, integrity and trustworthiness at all times.
  • The post holder will be expected to maintain strict confidentiality at all times.
  • The post holder will ensure that they are aware of and apply health and safety and fire precautions.
  • The post holder will ensure that clinical risk management and safeguarding procedures and relevant good practice guidelines are followed at all times.
  • The post holder is to ensure data protection is maintained at all times.
  • The post holder will be flexible in terms of working hours in order to meet service needs.
  • The post holder will support the hospice as required, across the range of his/her duties as appropriate within the grading of this post. In the context of rapid and ongoing change within the hospice, the above responsibilities represent the current priorities and requirements for the post. These priorities will develop and evolve over time. Any significant changes will be the subject of full communication and consultation with the post holder.

This job description is not an exhaustive list but it shows many of the aspects to this role.

What are we looking for?


  • Knowledge of a hospice setting Desirable


  • Experience of working in a caring environment Desirable

Skills and abilities

  • Good verbal communication skills
  • Good listening skills
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to establish relationships
  • Compassionate
  • A desire to support patients

Personal Attributes

  • Courteous, respectful and helpful at all times
  • Positive and caring attitude
  • Enthusiastic
  • Passionate about delivering safe care
  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Adaptable
  • Committed to the work of Barnsley Hospice
  • Professional, friendly and approachable
  • Compassionate and authentic
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Well-organised with a structured approach to work
  • Proactive approach with the ability to take the initiative
  • Reliable and able to follow instructions
  • Great team player and independent worker.

About us

Barnsley Hospice is a charity that provides specialist palliative and end of life care to hundreds of local people and those close to them each year. Our main priority is to achieve the best possible quality of life for people living with a life-limiting illness, whilst supporting those close to them during the period of illness and bereavement. As a specialist care provider, the range of skills we offer include, pain and symptom management, emotional support and end of life care. The hospice currently employs about 100 people and has a team of volunteers, based both at the hospice and within our Retail Hub.

We are committed to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in all that we do and welcome applications from all sections of the community. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, LGBTQIA+ candidates and candidates with disabilities because we are committed to increasing the representation of these groups at Barnsley Hospice.

Skip to content