Hear from our care service volunteers

Our hospice volunteers talk about their personal experiences supporting our healthcare teams across Sue Ryder and what they get back from the rewarding work they do to help us be there when it matters.

The time that you can give to someone when they need it is so valuable.

Cathy, Sue Ryder befriender volunteer

Befriender volunteer Cathy with Dot in the hospice garden

Cathy with Dot in the hospice garden

Cathy, befriender volunteer

Cathy has been a befriender volunteer for over five years. In her role, she supports patients by providing companionship, helping them to shop or visit favourite places, assisting with small practical tasks or offering respite for their family.

“I just love befriending. I get such a lot out of it including a real sense of satisfaction that I am helping people at the end of their lives, whether that’s by supporting the carer or the patient. It can be very isolating for those looking after a relative who is so ill and it means a lot to them to be able to get out and about.”

Cathy was later matched with Dot, who was referred to Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub South Oxfordshire after her lung cancer symptoms started to get worse and she required specialist care at home. Her nurse soon began to notice how isolated Dot was, and she ended up referring her to the hub’s befriending service for some extra support.

Cathy adds, “I really enjoy coming to see Dot, and our relationship has developed to a lovely place where we know each other very well now.”

They’ve enjoyed lots of time together, going for tea and cake at local coffee shops, visits to garden centres and even a bit of retail therapy.

“Befriending has made every difference in the world to me,” says Dot, and Cathy knows all too well the powerful connection they’ve made.

“She has been through a lot of trauma in her life and sometimes she’ll just ring me for a chat or to ask me a question,” says Cathy. “The time that you can give to someone when they need it is so valuable.”

Get in touch and apply

If you’ve been inspired by Cathy’s volunteering journey, you can get in touch and register your interest via our volunteer quick apply form.

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Volunteer with us

Join thousands of volunteers helping us be there when it matters for people going through the most difficult time of their lives.

A smiling Sue Ryder hospice volunteer
Our volunteer guidelines
Our ambition is that all volunteers feel appreciated, respected and proud to be part of the Sue Ryder team. Here, you can read about what we expect from you, and what you can expect from us.
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Frequently asked questions about volunteering
We've answered some common questions below about volunteering with Sue Ryder.
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Types of care service volunteer roles
Take a look at the different volunteering roles available across our hospices and how you can help support us to be there when it matters.