Volunteering with the Palliative Care Team
Fife Specialist Palliative Care Team is supported by approximately ninety dedicated volunteers.
Hospice volunteers complement and enhance current service provision by undertaking tasks that free up clinicians, thereby enabling them to devote more time to patient care.
Volunteers are based at Victoria Hospice in Kirkcaldy and Ward 16 Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline. Examples of Volunteer roles are:
- Volunteer Drivers - Transport patients to and from Kirkcaldy Unit
- Flower volunteers/florists - Arrange floral displays around the Unit
- General Volunteer Assistants - Offer support in both Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline Hospices. In Kirkcaldy volunteers welcome patients who attend day services e.g. make tea, toast, cheese and biscuits for patient's breakfast each morning. In the afternoon a new shift commences and this volunteer group assist with lunches and afternoon tea. General Volunteer Assistants also offer support to Ward 16, Queen Margaret Hospital and may assist at mealtimes or with companionship for example.
- Receptionists - Meet and Greet family members, patients and visitors to the Unit - This volunteer group man the reception desk and welcome patients and family members. Receptionists generally work three hour shifts and cover the desk both evenings and weekends
- Volunteer Gardeners - Support the Unit on an ad hoc seasonal basis
- Volunteer Hairdressers - Offer our patients the opportunity to have a cut and blow dry should they wish this
- Volunteer Beutician - Patients are able to enjoy a manicure
- Therapet - Pop in and bring much cheer to our patients
- Therapeutic Touch - Volunteers offer patients a very light hand massage
- Volunteer Calligrapher - Kirkcaldy. The Calligrapher would be asked to assist on an ad hoc basis (approximately two hours maximum per month)
It is really important that our patients are offered companionship and support hence we would seek volunteers with good communications/listening skills. Particular emphasis is also veered towards empathising with our patients and supporting patients to reach their goals.
Volunteer drivers offer a much needed Fife-wide service to patients and their care-givers, enabling patient transport via the most direct route whilst offering respite to care-givers.
Using their own vehicles, our drivers uplift patients from their homes and transport them into Victoria Hospice Day Hospice for 10.00 a.m. each morning, Monday to Friday. Drivers then return at 3.00 p.m. and transport patients back home.
Drivers generally devote one or two days to the Hospice, (maximum of four hours per day). Our drivers are recruited from all areas of Fife and some drive locally, whilst others prefer longer journeys.
A proportion of our drivers will also assist us to enhance our patient’s lives further by providing much needed transport to social events.
Weekend and evening receptionists/meters and greeters and general volunteer assistants tend to gift one three hour shift per week by mutual agreement.
Volunteer Expenses: Drivers are reimbursed at 50p per mile, to cover the costs of petrol, mileage and wear and tear on their vehicle.
Volunteers occupying other volunteer roles can claim 24p per mile to cover the costs of travel if they chose to use their own vehicle.
Training: Volunteers are asked to attend an induction programme and all volunteers are ‘buddied up’ with a more experienced volunteer at the start of their volunteering activity.
Role Boundaries: Volunteers undertake non-clinical tasks only. Drivers are issued with a set of guidelines which clearly define their role.
Volunteers occupying other volunteer roles will also be issued with a task outline, (volunteer version of a job description) and a risk assessment relevant to their role.
Patient Transport Brochure: Family members are issued with a Volunteer Transport Brochure to explain what volunteers drivers are permitted to do.
Confidentiality: Given the confidential nature of palliative care, volunteers will also be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Skills Sought: We ask that drivers come with a clean, current driving licence and a good driving history. It is also necessary for volunteer drivers to have comprehensive insurance and to inform their insurers that they will be driving as part of their voluntary role. Skills sought amidst volunteers would include; good people skills, particularly the ability to listen, coupled with a patient non-judgemental approach and a desire to learn.
Recruitment Process: Volunteers go through the same recruitment process as paid staff members and would be asked to:
- Complete the volunteer profile beforehand and identify two suitable referees
- Sign a confidentiality agreement
- Join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme
- Complete an occupational health questionnaire prior to attending Occupational Health for Screening
- Attend induction training
- A buddy scheme is in operation - this enables volunteers to get support from a more experienced volunteer occupying the same role, once they commence volunteering
Interested in joining our diverse volunteer team?
Please ring Teri Perry on
01592 648072 Ext 28250
For more information contactTeri Perry, Volunteers Manager (Victoria Hospice)
Tel: 01592 643355 Contact Teri Perry online
By Post: NHS Fife, Victoria Hospital Hayfield Road Kirkcaldy Fife KY2 5AH