This new service in our Hospice Inpatient Unit will be a team of volunteers who will provide an uninterrupted companion presence for someone who is dying and does not have family or friends available to visit. Your presence will provide company, dignity and peace in the person’s last few days and hours of life. The role requires volunteers to be fully engaged both physically (physical contact), emotionally & psychologically.

Where: Martlets Hospice, Wayfield Avenue, Hove BN3 7LW

When: It is likely that this service will be required approximately every six-eight weeks. Each volunteer will usually be called in for four hours per 24 hours on rolling shifts. Volunteers will agree their availability with the service coordinator in advance and will be notified shortly before the team is required.

Usual minimum commitment: The usual time commitment will be for a four hour rolling shift in a 24 hour period, for the duration of someone dying (3-4 days).

Volunteers will be asked to participate in a two-hour supervision within one week following the patient’s death.

What you’ll be doing: To provide companionship to someone as they die.

Making use, where appropriate, of music, spiritual exercises, complementary therapies, mindfulness and compassion-in-action techniques.

The role is not a clinical/nursing/personal care role.

What’s in it for you:

Introductory training over five sessions for shortlisted candidates will cover:

  • Developing knowledge of palliative care
  • Exploring cultural understandings of dying
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Spiritual exercises
  • Compassion in action techniques
  • Complementary therapy techniques

Whilst actively volunteering:

  • Reflective supervision following a death
  • Opportunities for personal growth
  • Support and supervision in your role
  • Reasonable out of pocket expenses
  • Access to organizational resources

Your skills and abilities:

  • Genuine interest in hospice, End-of-Life care
  • Experience or/training in hospice or related areas
  • Experience of self-reflection
  • Excellent ability to communicate clearly
  • Developed sense of empathy
  • Developed sense of personal boundaries, self-awareness, resilience
  • Awareness of the impact of bereavement
  • Experience of working with vulnerable persons
  • Willingness to be flexible and respond at short notivce

Requirements for this role:

  • Volunteers must be over 18
  • Due to the nature of this role, selection will involve an informal interview and then successful candidates being invited to introductory training over five sessions before the final selection is made.  
  • You will need to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Volunteers will need to attend our welcome Day and complete other relevant role specific training

How to apply: Download an application form

Contact: Martlets Chaplain, Nicholas Rhoddis by email:, or Volunteering Services Team or call 01273 273400.