Volunteering FAQs

Volunteering FAQs

Q: I’m not sure how I can help - what volunteer opportunities are there?

Q: Where can I volunteer?

Q: How much time do I need to give?

Q: What is the minimum age for volunteering?

Q: Do I get paid?

Q: What will I get out of volunteering?

Q: How do I apply?

Q: Can I still apply if I don’t have any previous work experience?

Q: Do my referees have to be previous employers?

Q: I have a criminal record, can I volunteer with Sue Ryder?

Q: I am looking for work and am on benefits, does that mean I can only volunteer 16 hours?

Q: Does Sue Ryder engage with people on back-to-work schemes?

Still have questions?


Q: I’m not sure how I can help - what volunteer opportunities are there?

We rely on the support of volunteers in all departments. From covering reception to befriending, serving refreshments to patients and assisting in our shops, our volunteers enable us to raise funds and deliver our services.

You might be interested in:

  • administration
  • befriending
  • bereavement support
  • catering / house keeping
  • complementary therapies
  • creative art activities
  • driving
  • events
  • flower arranging
  • fundraising
  • gardening
  • healthcare support
  • maintenance / decorating
  • meet and greet
  • public speaking / ambassador
  • reception
  • retail
  • telephone support

Q: Where can I volunteer?

We have 13 care centres and hospices, over 400 shops and several regional offices across England, Scotland and Wales. Browse our current opportunities or let us know where you're based and we’ll tell you what voluntary roles are available nearby.


Q: How much time do I need to give?

If a role requires a specific commitment, we’ll always let you know up front. Otherwise you can give us as much or as little time as you like.

It's best for us if you can give four hours at a time. That's a half day. It makes it easier for us to plan. But if you only have an hour to spare, we'll be just as grateful.


Q: What is the minimum age for volunteering?

You can volunteer in Sue Ryder shops from the age of 14 (we'll need consent from parents or guardians of people aged under 16).

Most roles that involve contact with service users in our care centres and hospices have a minimum age of 18.


Q: Do I get paid?

No.

When you sign up to volunteer, you're giving us your time and skills for no financial payment. With agreement from your manager we'll reimburse your reasonable local travel expenses if you're with us for a shift of over four hours. But we do ask that you show receipts for any claims you make.


Q: What will I get out of volunteering?

Volunteering with Sue Ryder is a great way to:

  • boost your CV
  • learn new skills
  • get involved in your local community
  • make a difference to an individual's quality of life
  • increase your confidence and self-esteem
  • put your existing skills and interests to use
  • know that your time is valued
  • meet new people

We’ll do our best to let you get involved as much as you'd like, and hope you have fun along the way.


Q: How do I apply?

For more information about volunteering with Sue Ryder you can:


Q: Can I still apply if I don’t have any previous work experience?

Yes.

We can provide the training required for most of our roles. Volunteering can be a great way to develop your skills while boosting your CV.


Q: Do my referees have to be previous employers?

No.
Previous employers can vouch for your ability at work, but we can also accept references from friends, colleagues and clients.


Q: I have a criminal record, can I volunteer with Sue Ryder?

Having a criminal record is not necessarily a barrier to volunteering with Sue Ryder. We ask that you disclose your offence to your manager in a confidential setting.

We work with probation trusts across the country and are also proud to work with currently serving offenders through our Prison Volunteer Programme.


Q: I am looking for work and am on benefits, does that mean I can only volunteer 16 hours?

No.
You can volunteer as many hours you want as long as you:

  • are still actively looking for a fulltime paid job
  • are available for work
  • are still able to go to an interview at 48 hours notice
  • are still able to start a job at one week's notice
  • let your Jobcentre Plus Advisory know before you start, and tell them about any expenses you may get

You will not be paid, and will only be reimbursed expenses, so your income will not be affected.

Get more information about volunteering whilst on benefits


Q: Does Sue Ryder engage with people on back-to-work schemes?

Read: Sue Ryder position statement on the Department for Work and Pensions' back-to-work schemes (pdf) commonly known as Workfare.


Still have questions?

Send us an email or call us on 0845 050 1953.

Alternatively, write to:
Volunteering
Sue Ryder
1st Floor
16 Upper Woburn Place
London
WC1H 0AF