Volunteers have an integral part to play in the provision of hospice palliative care services. They strengthen the work of the professional team and bring the gifts of time and compassion. Their roles are varied, but they share the common commitment to hospice and palliative care and a willingness to contribute to the community in which they live.

Volunteers offer time and skills in all areas of hospice and palliative care: hospital in-patients, residents in care facilities and patients and families at home and in hospice.

Many people, who have the choice, prefer to die at home, but this can be an overwhelming task. Trained volunteers can help. They are matched with families and come into the home to provide a companionship role.

Our Supportive Care Centre volunteers are often the first contact for a family member or caregiver looking for information and support. They are the voice at the end of the phone. They greet anyone coming to the Centre, manage the library, provide clerical assistance and support the professional and administrative staff and Care Centre services. They are an additional and much valued resource, enhancing the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the Centre.

Screening and Training

Because volunteers spend time in patients’ and families’ homes, it is necessary that our volunteers have an application and interview process. In addition, volunteers visiting families must complete an introductory hospice and palliative care training program and have a clear criminal record check for working with vulnerable children and adults.

In the training, the volunteers are taught the “Art of Presence” which focuses on listening without judging or giving advice, respect for personal beliefs and the need for confidentiality. The course includes: the philosophy of hospice palliative care, needs of patients and families, signs and symptoms of approaching death, understanding living with dying, grief and loss, spirituality, self care, community resources and working with the health care team.

Volunteers help by:

Being there
Problem solving
Recording Life Stories
Providing relief for the primary caregiver & other caring activities as requested.

NOTE – volunteers do not provide medical or personal care such as dispensing medicine, changing
dressings, bathing

Upon completion of the training and orientation, volunteers are invited to attend on-going educational opportunities and monthly volunteer support meetings to increase their knowledge and skills and to keep themselves updated. Opportunities for service include:

Home Visits
Hospital Visits
Care Facility Visits
Vigil Organizers
Therapeutic Life Review
Relaxation Circle
Therapeutic Touch
Bereavement Support Reception

Transport of Patients
Hospice Van
Team Leader
Library Management
Mail Outreach Program
Clerical Support


Interested in Becoming A Trained Volunteer?

All volunteers working with patients and families either in the Outreach Program or the Supportive Care Centre Program must complete an introductory training course before beginning work. Additional volunteers are always needed and welcome.


Click here to contact the Coordinator of Volunteers >