Caring for People in Harrow & Brent

Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question below, give us a call on 020 8382 8057 or email

What are the benefits of volunteering?

St Luke’s currently has 850 volunteers. Volunteering is a lot of fun as well as being a great place to meet new people and make friends. Our volunteer opportunities enable you to learn new work based skills, boosting your CV. The donation of your time supports the work of the Hospice in providing free care to patients and supporting their families.

Where can I volunteer?

Volunteers help us in a number of roles and we aim to match volunteering activity according to your interest and our need. Roles are available in most areas of the hospice; with our patients, the day-to-day running of the hospice, in our shops, in the community or at fundraising events.

Am I able to volunteer if I have recently suffered a bereavement?

Many of our volunteers are family and friends of our patients and having witnessed the care that is provided to their loved one they are inspired to give something back. Unfortunately during the first stages of bereavement many do not appreciate that how hard it can be coming into contact with very ill patients and bereaved family members when they are still grieving themselves.  Therefore it is Hospice policy not to allowed those that have been bereaved within the first year to volunteer here at the Hospice, you are however able to volunteer in our shops.  

How much time do I have to give?

We have a range of volunteer opportunities from regular volunteering to one-off volunteering at events. For the majority of roles we do ask that you do one 4 hour shift every week or two weeks. If your availability doesn’t quite fit with this please do still apply and state your availability and we can see what would be suitable for you.

What skills and experience do I need?

The majority of our roles do not require any previous volunteering experience as we provide training and support. In addition, all St Luke’s volunteers have a staff member who will manage and support them, as well our more experienced volunteers to help new members of the team.

Can I offer my professional skills to the organisation?

Yes, we welcome volunteer expertise and ask that you email us with a brief description of your professional background. 

What training and support will I be given?

All our volunteers receive training and an induction to a specific role; we will ensure that you are fully trained before you start your volunteering activity. Support is always available should you require it however opportunities for support sessions will be offered.

Can I get reimbursed for expenses whilst volunteering?

St Luke’s Hospice volunteers do not receive any payment for their work but you are able to claim reasonable expenses. We reimburse reasonable travel costs to and from your place of volunteer activity. This will be discussed at your induction.

I would like a reference for my volunteering, is this possible?

Yes, we write references for volunteers who have actively volunteered with us for six months. All references are written out to the concerned party directly and not to the individual volunteer or ‘To whom it may concern’. The reference will go directly from us to the party concerned i.e. College, Employer.

My company encourages me to volunteer. Can you help?

Yes, throughout the year we have a number of companies who support us and donate their time. Please contact us on to discuss opportunities that will suit you and your company.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

Our advice will be to always speak to your personal adviser before you start volunteering with us.

The general rules are that you can volunteer provided that:

  • You are looking for paid work. 
  • You must be free to go to an interview on request of the Jobcentre plus
  • You must be able to start work within one week of this notice

What checks are carried out before I start volunteering?

All Volunteers must complete a risk assessment form to identify sensible measures to control the risks in the workplace.

What measures are in place to ensure you are COVID-19 safe?

Our shops are complying with Government guidelines around the safety of all volunteers.

All surfaces are cleaned regularly especially those areas that are exposed constantly. Hand sanitisers are available and all volunteers are asked to use this regularly. It is mandatory to use face coverings. Staff and customer numbers are limited in our shops and social distancing is maintained at all times. 

If you are already a volunteer and you or a family member are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please inform the manager as soon as possible and do not attend your shift. We would advise you get tested and keep your manager updated so that we can advise you further.

How old do I need to be to volunteer?

All volunteers need to be 18 and over to help in the Hospice however you can volunteer in our shops or help with fundraising events if you are under 18. There is no upper age limit!

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