Volunteering FAQs

Here's all you need to know about volunteering for Overgate Hospice

Are all the volunteering opportunities on this list?

New roles are being created all the time. If you have a skill or talent that you feel could benefit us, please let us know.

Can I volunteer as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme or National Citizen Service?

Definitely! You need to complete the registration procedure in line with Overgate Hospice’s Volunteer Policy, but we welcome and support students on these schemes. For National Citizen Service and work experience the numbers are limited, so please apply at least 3 months prior to the date of your work experience. Please fill in the work experience application form. You will be invited to attend an informal interview and an induction prior to commencing the work experience.

Can I volunteer in more than one area?

Definitely! We have several volunteers who do more than one role such as working in a shop one day, the Hospice another and also help at our fundraising events.

How long does it take to become a volunteer?

It usually depends on how quickly the references come back. The average length of time is two months from filling in the registration form to starting volunteering with us after attending an interview and the induction.

How old do you have to be to be a volunteer?

The minimum age is 14 in our shops, 16 at the Hospice, 18 in the clinical areas and 25 to be a driver. Younger volunteers are welcome to help at events but under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult. We have no upper age limit in any of our volunteering roles.

I have health issues will this matter?

Not necessarily. Please declare any health issues on the registration pack and during the interview and we will do our best to make reasonable adjustments or alter the role for you. If that isn’t possible we will find tasks that you can do. As a registered volunteer you can refuse to do any task that you do not feel confident or trained to do.

I’d love to help but can’t give a regular commitment. Is there anything I can do?

We have several volunteering roles that don’t require a regular commitment such as helping at our events, joining one of our Friends groups, running a stall for us, supermarket bag packing and last minute appeals for an extra pair of hands. Most of our regular volunteers give their time for half a day a week and we ask Event Volunteers to commit to helping at least one event per year.As a volunteer you can take as many holidays as you like and we acknowledge that parents and grandparents etc. are often primary child carers. Several of our volunteers are unable to commit during school holidays of illness. Let your line manager know if this applies to you so they can try to arrange cover for the shift.

I’m not very good on the computer will it matter?

No as the majority of roles do not require you to use a computer. Each role description details the skills needed to do the job.

My buses are only one an hour, will this be a problem?

A small number of roles do have a set start and finish time such as on reception, driving and in some shops however this can be agreed during the interview.

Overgate Hospice is fully funded by the Government and the NHS?

Overgate Hospice is not fully funded by the Government and the NHS. However, we do receive some funding from the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) but this only covers a portion of our annual running costs. Last year, CCG funded 27% of our total running costs. This means that we rely on the generous people of Calderdale to help raise the remaining £2.5 million.

What extra checks are done on new volunteers?

For volunteer drivers we check for points on driving licences on www.gov.uk//view-driving-licence and tax and MOT checks on www.vehicleenquirey.service.gov.uk and all drivers must sign a declaration confirming they have notified their insurance company that they are using their vehicle as a volunteer driver. All volunteers in clinical areas including Day Hospice drivers also have an Enhanced or Standard DBS check prior to starting. Two references are obtained and can be from anyone who has known you for more than 12 months but is not a family member.

What is a DBS check?

A Disclosure and Barring Service check (or DBS check for short) is the term used for the analysis and record of a person's past, looking specifically at any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings they may have received.

Will I have to attend any training courses or staff meetings?

All volunteers must attend the Volunteer’s Induction at the Hospice in Elland prior to starting, or within 3 months of starting when volunteering in a shop. (If getting to Hospice is a problem then the induction can be done in one of our shops.) A Mandatory Training Booklet must also be read on the first day of volunteering and volunteers must attend any ongoing training relevant to their role. It isn’t mandatory to attend staff meetings however we do encourage attendance as it is a great way of meeting other volunteers, sharing news and keeping up to date with relevant information.

Will I have to work with patients?

Not necessarily as only a handful of volunteering roles are in the clinical areas. There are numerous volunteer roles based at the Hospice where you will have no patient contact.

Will I have to wear a uniform?

No. Some roles do require you to wear protective garments i.e. In Patient Unit volunteers wear green tabards. If the role involves 1 to 1 contact with patients then you must adhere to Overgate Hospice’s Dress code. Please ask for a copy at the interview.