Volunteering FAQs

How long is the recruitment process?

It can take as little as a couple of weeks or up to three months depending on how quickly you fill in forms, whether your chosen role requires a DBS and whether your chosen role is available.

Do all applicants get accepted?

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to match all our volunteer applicants to a suitable role.

What is application process?

  • Fill in an application form, either on-line or fill in a paper version and post it to us.
  • Your application will be assessed and we will try to match you to a suitable role for your experience and requirements.
  • We will contact you to organise a mutually convenient date and time for you to come and meet us and discuss volunteering in more detail.
  • If there is a suitable role we will then take up two references (these should not be a relative or partner and at least one if possible should be a recent work colleague).
  • For volunteer roles at our hospices we will also carry out a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check formerly know as a CRB.
  • We also carry out an ID check on all our volunteers, you will need to produce one photo id (eg passport or driving licence, or a birth certificate) and one of the following bank/building society statement or utility bill.
  • You will be invited to attend for an induction and a start date will be agreed.

Will I be able to volunteer immediately?

No, you will need to follow the recruitment process described in question above.

Will I get any training?

You will receive a general induction to the organisation and training tailored to the individual role you will be carrying out. We also have mandatory training in all roles which includes fire safety, manual handling and safeguarding children.

What volunteer opportunities are available?

We have over 700 volunteers who help in a wide range of ways. There are volunteer roles at our two hospices, Shooting Star House in Hampton and Christopher’s in Guildford. The roles include, receptionist, kitchen assistant, gardener, maintenance assistant, housekeeping assistant, and there are a limited number of roles involved in care support. We also have reception and administration, finance and research roles at our head office at Addlestone and retail assistant roles in our shops. For current vacancies see our volunteering vacancies.

Am I able to do work experience?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate requests for work experience.

I am looking for a student placement in the hospice who do I contact?

More information on student placements can be found here or please email toni.menezes@shootingstar.org.uk

Can I volunteer if I am under 18?

For most of our volunteering opportunities you will need to be at least 18-years-old. However you can volunteer in our shops from aged 15 if you are doing your Duke of Edinburgh  and we do have a Young Volunteering Programme, which we run twice a year from July to September and November to January for which applicants need to be between 16 and 18 years. More information can be found on our young volunteering page.

I am only free for the Summer holidays or a short period of time, can I volunteer?

Apart from our young volunteering programme, we prefer volunteers to commit to a minimum period of 12 months if at all possible.

I want to work with the children. Is this possible?

There are very few opportunities available to work directly with the children in our care and when these opportunities arise they are frequently allocated to those who have been volunteering within our hospices and have a teaching or nursing qualification. Having said that we assess all our applicants on an individual basis and we are currently reviewing our care volunteer strategy.

Do I get paid expenses?

We pay agreed out of pocket expenses. As a general rule we do not pay travel expenses to and from your regular place of volunteering.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Most of our volunteers do not have to wear uniform. Some volunteer roles in our hospices are provided with an apron or polo shirt and all volunteers are requested not to wear jeans.