Palliative Care Volunteer Managers

Volunteer Managers or Volunteer Coordinators have a very significant role in directing and supporting volunteers in hospices and involved in palliative care and therefore in providing support for the service as a whole. The time given by volunteers is free however significant resources are required to provide effective and adequate support to volunteers.

The role of a volunteer manager or coordinator is wide ranging and demanding, they are responsible for the:

  • Recruitment of hospice volunteers
  • Orientation and training of hospice volunteers
  • Matching Hospice volunteers to appropriate roles
  • Liaising with other hospice staff in the overall running of the volunteer programme
  • Performance review and ongoing development of volunteers
  • Ensuring volunteer recognition
  • Handling grievances and complaints
  • Policy development and Strategic Planning for future development of volunteer programme

There are a number of freely available resources which might support and inform volunteer managers.

Association of Volunteer Managers (UK) are an independent membership body that supports, represents and champions people in volunteer management in the UK regardless of field, discipline or sector. 

Volunteering – Vital for Our Future. Together for Short Lives and Hospice UK, have designed this resource to support organisations in the hospice and palliative care sector to develop their work with volunteers.

Vanderstichelen, S., Houttekier, D., Cohen, J., Van Wesemael, Y., Deliens, L., & Chambaere, K. (2018). Palliative care volunteerism across the healthcare system: A survey study. Palliative medicine, 32(7), 1233–1245. View paper here

European Association for Palliative Care Taskforce Volunteering explores the role of volunteers in hospice and palliative care in Europe, the different approaches to management and training and any barriers to their involvement in care.

Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development agency in the Republic of Ireland which helps to link volunteers with organisations seeking volunteers. Support is also made available through training, consultancy, a range of online guides and resources. Volunteer Ireland also develops and supports best practice in volunteering.

Volunteer Now is the lead organisation in Northern Ireland which works to promote, develop and support volunteering. They help to link volunteers with organisations seeking volunteers and provide information and support on volunteer management and safeguarding vulnerable groups.