Young Volunteer Programme

Young Volunteer Programme


The Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Young Volunteer Programme (YVP) has been created to provide young people who are working towards a career in healthcare or medicine with an opportunity to gain hands on experience of all aspects of the hospice environment.

The experience that you will have and skills that you will learn is aimed at providing you with a solid grounding before you move on to employment, university or other further education.

This is a unique opportunity and will only be available to those who show that they have the understanding, maturity and commitment to complete the programme.

Check out our YVP poster!

Download by clicking here

What will it involve?

The programme is spread out over a period of six to nine months and will give you the chance to get to know the hospice and the staff in one of our support roles, you will then move on to the clinical areas and patient facing roles. Initially meeting the teams and then shadowing existing volunteers and staff.

Throughout the programme you will need to maintain the level of confidentiality expected within the hospice and ensure that you respect the boundaries of each area.

Stage 1 – You will have completed the Hospices volunteer recruitment process and be ready to start. The initial ‘settling in’ period will carried out over six sessions in our hospice kitchen. You will be able to familiarise yourself with the hospice and meet all of the different types of people that come here.

Session Days/Times: One weekday evenings 5pm-6pm for 6 sessions.

Stage 2 – Now that you have completed the initial part of the programme you will be invited to join the team in Day Hospice. You will start off by joining the Transport Coordinator and escort on the hospice ambulance, either bringing day hospice patients to the hospice or taking home at the end of the day. You will be able to meet the patients and get to know them and see what the first part of the Day Hospice experience is like.

Session Days/Times: One day per week between either 9am-10.30am or 2.30pm-4pm for 4 sessions.

You will then join the Day Hospice team. Here you will get the chance to meet all of the patients and assist the staff and volunteers with the activities and meals service on the day.

The Day Hospice is a vibrant environment where people get the opportunity to socialise and interact with others that are sharing a similar experience, while at the same time receiving the highest standard of clinical and personal care.

Session Days/Times: One day per week between 10am-3pm for a minimum of two hours for 6 sessions

Stage 3 – Following your time in Day Hospice you will meet with the Voluntary Services Manager for a review of how things have been going so far. This will be a chance to talk about what you have gained from the experience to date and discuss moving forward.

During this period you will also be invited to experience other areas of the hospice that you may not yet have had the opportunity. Over a period of two weeks you will have the chance to volunteer in a variety of areas such as retail, fundraising, administration or maintenance. Although not every area has direct contact with patients and families each and every part of the hospice ultimately works towards providing the highest standards of care.

Session Days/Times: TBC at the time

Stage 4 – The adult unit is where we provide the majority of our care to patients and families so it is vitally important that you understand a respect the boundaries and confidentiality of the area. Our primary aim is that we are sensitive to the needs of our patients and their families, so you will need to act with tact and discretion while following the lead of the Ward Assistant.

While on the ward, over a number of sessions, you will get the opportunity to interact with the patients directly, offering drinks, taking their order for lunch/dinner and generally chatting and being a friendly face throughout the morning/evening.

It is this firsthand experience that will give you an insight into the care we provide, but we understand that the adult unit can be a hugely emotive place. If at any time you do not feel comfortable in this area it is important that you discuss this openly with the Voluntary Services Manager.

Session Days/Times: One day per week 9am-12.30pm or 2pm-4pm for 6 sessions

Stage 5 – You should now have a developed a well rounded understanding of Eden Valley Hospice and the only area still to cover is our Children’s Unit, Jigsaw.

Jigsaw provides support to the children and young adults of Cumbria across a wide range of ages with a variety of additional support needs.

Here you will work alongside the activities coordinators and health care assistants to gain firsthand experience of the care we provide to both children and their families.

As with the adult unit the children’s hospice can be a very emotive environment. If at any time you do not feel comfortable in this area it is important that you discuss this openly with the Voluntary Services Manager.

Session Days/Times: One day per week, usually 2pm-4pm although can be flexible

Completing the Young Volunteer Programme

On reaching the end of the programme you will be presented with a certificate of completion from the Hospice outlining the number of hours you have completed. We will also happily provide written references and letters of recommendation in support of your future applications for education and employment.

This experience will have given you a unique insight into the inner working of a hospice environment and hopefully given you skills that you will build on the next steps of your chosen career.


Karen Nixon
Voluntary Services Coordinator

Email: Click here

Tel: 01228 817658