What type of volunteer roles do you offer?

There are a huge range of roles within Sue Ryder from helping in our care centres to supporting our charity shops. 

Volunteers brighten the days of people in our hospices and neurological centres; they help keep our services and shops running smoothly; they are befrienders and buddies, event organisers and fundraisers.

At Sue Ryder, there are so many roles to choose from, at all levels; you could develop your office admin skills, take the lead in one of our community events, provide wonderful customer service, create enticing displays, or you could be our advocate on social media.

Image of a Pet Therapy Volunteer
A befriender volunteer having coffee with a companion

Types of volunteer roles

Hospice and care centres

Volunteers support our hospices and care centres in many ways, from providing a warm welcome on reception, helping patients relax with complementary therapies or take part in activities, and preparing delicious meals to helping with day to day admin that keeps our centres running smoothly.

Sue Ryder's vision is to create a world where everyone has access to personalised and compassionate care. Providing one-to-one, tailored services is key to making sure that our service users can choose how they live, right through to the end.

Volunteers support service users in our hospices and neurological care centres in all sorts of ways - from enabling participation in leisure activities to offering completary therapies, providing transport for an appointment to serving refreshments to visiting family members and friends, our volunteers contribute directly to the care Sue Ryder delivers.

Supporting roles

Sue Ryder healthcare teams are underpinned by other departments working together, and volunteer opportunities are also available in:

  • catering
  • admin and reception
  • patient transport
  • flower arranging
  • gardening
  • fundraising


Sue Ryder offers community based befriending in Doncaster and Newbury, as well as buddy services in our centres. Volunteer befrienders and buddies are patient and compassionate, and sign up to a long term commitment needed to get to know service users on a one to one basis.

Befriending and buddying involves getting to know an individual service user, providing a regular, reliable source of support through face to face visits, telephone calls, or a combination of both. This means that we ask for a longer term minimum commitment than for many of our other roles.

To become a befriender or buddy we’ll need you to be:

  • a good communicator patient and understanding (allowing sufficient time for residents with speech difficulties to express themselves)
  • friendly and approachable, with a sensitive and caring manner reliable and emotionally resilient
  • able to use your own initiative

We have services in the community and at our centres.

You can apply for roles online, or call our Volunteer team on 0808 164 4572 for more information.


There are so many different ways you can help in our shops. From bookworms to event co-ordinators, cleaners to photographers – there is something for everyone.

Sales Assistants and Vintage Enthusiasts

Are you a social butterfly? Why not join a shop as a Sales Assistant. With your sociable and outgoing personality, you’ll help delight and intrigue customers with all wonderful things in our shop - and keep the till ringing. If you love all things retro why not use your passion to help pick out donated items that could earn a premium. You’ll research the best price and create displays to show them off and attract a buyer.

Cashier/Till Operator

Using your customer service skills and ability to stay calm under pressure, you’ll provide a service with a smile. Behind the till you'll keep focussed and friendly, processing payments, packing goods and spotting opportunities to upsell - making sure customers leave wanting to come back.

Stockroom Assistant

Do you know your Doc Martens from your Jimmy Choo's? Join our friendly shop team and help us sort and identify donated stock. Your ability to spot this season's must-haves amid the ocean of fashion is invaluable. If you've a methodical mind, put it to good use preparing items for sale so they hit the shop floor in style.

Admin Assistant

Use your eye for detail to make sense of paperwork and keep our retail office shipshape. With your organisational skills, you'll help keep databases updated, respond to enquiries, type up notes, and assist with mailings. This is a great opportunity to develop your third-sector office experience.

Stock Generator

Lead the way in networking with local businesses to attract donations of beautiful things that we can sell in our shops. Working with the shop team, you could support an employee donation drive, arrange publicity to encourage donations, and do a bag-drop and collection in your street.


Are you an avid reader that knows Austen from Atwood and Dahl from Dickens? We're looking for enthusiastic book-lovers to help maximise sales by sorting, pricing and displaying books for the best possible prices.

Music Lover

Do you know your Rolling Stones from Rossini? We need enthusiastic music buffs to sort, grade and price vinyl, CDs and DVDs by genre for the best possible prices. And if you can confidently strum a guitar, drum an enticing beat, or make a clarinet sing, you can demonstrate and advise customers about our musical instruments.


In just a few hours a week taking and editing photos, you’ll help make our social media sites look incredible and create publicity for our shop for display in the local area. You can bring as much inspiration as you like to help our shop grow.

Furniture Specialist

If you can tell mahogany from MDF, you’ll be able to support our sales of donated furniture. You’ll help to research, price, clean and prepare items for sale. Specialist knowledge, DIY skills, and experience in furniture repair would be of particular benefit.

Events co-ordinator 

Do your parties go off with a bang? Support the manager to create amazing events to raise funds for our care. You'll find inspiring ideas to shape and promote exciting events in the local area using your social media savvy. Your ideas will be invaluable and your organisational skills will ensure events are unforgettable, raising vital funds for Sue Ryder.

Lead Volunteer

An all-round retailer, familiar with all the day-to-day aspects of running the shop, you’ll take charge in the absence of a Manager or Assistant Manager. With your organised approach, pride in taking responsibility, and consistent way of working, you’ll be involved in stepping up to: opening and closing the shop opening the till at the start of the day, checking the float and cashing up serving customers dealing with stock donations supporting other volunteers.


If you take pride in your efforts and like to see instant results, maybe you’d enjoy helping us keep our shop floor and stock rooms clean and tidy. Training for specialist equipment will be provided, and this flexible role.

Van Driver's Assistant

Do you have a clean licence and customer service at heart? As part of the team of drivers, you’ll combine your good driving with your polite and friendly disposition to collect furniture, boxes of bric-a-brac, and bags of clothing, providing an efficient and courteous collection service to our donors. Assistants' team up with our drivers, using their team and customer service skills to help collect donations.

Gift Aid Champion

Can you influence without seeming to interfere? If you’re outgoing and confident approaching donors and customers, you could help promote the Retail Gift Aid scheme which can increase sales by 25%. In this role, you’ll greet donors dropping off donations, explain the benefits of the scheme and process details and sales on the computer system

Young people aged 17-25

Our shop and ward managers can support young people starting out in the world of work, or helping them to boost their CV and personal statement with practical experience. 

Age requirements

The minimum age for volunteering with us in our shops is 17 years old. We don't accept anyone under 17, even with parental permission.

Most roles that involve contact with service users in our palliative or neurological centres have a minimum age of 18.

What's in it for me?

Volunteering can help you become more confident, and it gives you the opportunity to mix with people outside your usual social circle. In today's competitive job market, volunteering can show potential employers that you're proactive and willing to work.

Even if the voluntary role isn't what you want as a long-term career, you can still develop transferable skills useful in any job - enhancing your customer service skills, for example, as well as the ability to work as part of a team and communicate with people at all levels.

University students

We work in partnership with several universities across the UK. We regularly attend volunteer and recruitment fairs, giving students a chance to talk to a member of Sue Ryder staff face to face about volunteering, charity work and what it's like to work as part of the Sue Ryder team.

School, college or university partnerships

If you'd like us to link up with your school, college or university, or have any other general enquiries, please email us at volunteering@sueryder.org or call our friendly Volunteering team on 0808 164 4572.

Work experience for medical students

Several of our centres can offer work experience placements to students preparing to study medicine. Get in touch with your local centre for more details about opportunities.

Please note that volunteers are not involved in providing personal or clinical care.

Interested in volunteering?

We have a range of different voluntary vacancies available across the UK, which you can apply for online using our quick enquiry form.