Volunteers play a vital part in providing a greater quality of life to the Chelsea Pensioners who live at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Volunteer at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

There are many ways in which a volunteer can help at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, from volunteering in the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary to helping fundraise for the Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal.

Currently we already have a large number of volunteers who we value greatly, and new volunteers who we are looking to place in our volunteering roles in the future.

Current volunteer position available:

At the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary (MTI) – and across the Royal Hospital Chelsea – we have an incredibly strong team of volunteers who we value greatly. All of our team have great relationships with the staff, the other volunteers, and of course with the Pensioners. We welcome people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, and we really enjoy the diversity of our team. We are looking for people with a strong desire to help the elderly, a natural affinity with them and who have the ability to work as part of a team that represents the Royal Hospital Chelsea. If any of the roles described below sound like they would suit you and you are able to make the commitment, please email volunteers@chelsea-pensioners.org.uk stating your name, contact number and the activity you are interested in supporting and we will send you a registration form to complete. Please note that as with all employed staff at the RHC, all successful volunteers applicants will be subject to a disclosure and barring check and satisfactory references prior to commencement. We look forward to meeting you.

Pottery Assistant

One volunteer required to assist our Pottery tutor in the weekly pottery class. The group consists of approximately ten Pensioners, all varying in ability and experience. You should be patient, have an interest in the creative arts, and a passion for working with older people.

Hours: Every Tuesday 10am – 4pm (this could be split between two people and two time slots if necessary)


Befriending is a vital part of our activities programme at the MTI and the variety of personalities and interests is vast. We pride ourselves on matching our volunteers with our Pensioners to make the most of people and what they have to give. So no matter what your interests, age, or career (it doesn’t have to be military!), if you are good with people, passionate about helping the elderly, and want to give something back to the community, we want to meet you.

Hours: Approx. 2 hours a week plus more if required

I.T. mentor

As technology becomes more accessible, more and more Pensioners are buying into the digital age. A lot of our Pensioners now own smart phones, tablets and computers, and several of them regularly use Skype and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Others are online but need help learning how to navigate the devices and the internet. We are looking for someone who can come in to the MTI on a weekly or fortnightly basis and help Pensioners in this respect. There is a lot of scope to expand the role and make it your own. Hours: Flexible. 2 – 3 hours a week / a fortnight in the morning or afternoon.


Here at the Royal Hospital Chelsea we rely on the kindness and generosity of our friends and corporates to donate to the Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal. In order to get our message out to the wider public we sometimes require the assistance of a more valuable asset that the supporters can offer us, their time.

Within the fundraising department of the Royal Hospital we often need help with events, such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Live at Chelsea and many other events across London. We also can need assistance with mail-outs to our friends and supporters. It is with great pride that we are able to do what we do in our office with the help and support of our many volunteers.

The Margaret Thatcher Infirmary

At the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary (MTI) – the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s care home with nursing – our dedicated volunteer team is central to our aim of providing the best quality of life possible for our Chelsea Pensioners. Volunteers support the work of the Infirmary in a variety of different roles, from supporting Pensioners to pursue existing interests and try out new hobbies as part of our weekly activities timetable, to assisting with trips and outings or organising a twice-weekly shopping trolley for Pensioners. Our army of volunteers assist us to ensure Pensioners residing at the Infirmary can continue to live their lives to the full and we are indebted to them.

Social Care and Welfare

We have a small group of volunteers who support the work of the Adjutants (Welfare) Department. These individuals visit the Chelsea Pensioners living in our Long Ward accommodation. Our volunteers visit and spend time ‘befriending’ our Pensioners. They will catch up with Pensioners in the lounge areas, gardens or in our cafe. They attend the coffee mornings we organise or other in house activities. They occasionally organise activities for Pensioners such as games or cinema evenings. They also support individuals with shopping, attending hospital appointments or on trips to local areas of interest.

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