Volunteering


Volunteers play a vital part in providing a greater quality of life to the Chelsea Pensioners who live at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. From escorting them to hospital appointments, to giving painting or singing lessons, volunteers play an essential role in our community.  We are currently looking for volunteers who can assist with the following activities:

  • Saturday Sherry Club – One volunteer needed to support the weekly ‘Sherry before Lunch’ activity on Saturday mornings (10.30am – 12pm). This will involve working with an Activities Assistant to set up and host a sherry morning and group chat for all Pensioners who wish to attend. This role requires a chatty individual who is able to listen and engage others in conversation.
  • Chaperone - Individuals required to provide assistance and companionship for Chelsea Pensioners attending various appointments (including hospital, dental and optometry) in the community. The role provides an invaluable service to Pensioners – whether that is accompanying them when travelling on Royal Hospital Chelsea transport, assisting to push a wheelchair, helping to navigate an unfamiliar hospital environment or supporting Pensioners to attend their appointment. Chaperones are not required to drive but an ability to push wheelchairs is essential. The role requires patience, flexibility, sensitivity to any special requirements and a high degree of confidentiality. As appointment times change from week-to-week, volunteer chaperones are asked to be available for at least one three-hour time slot between 8am – 6pm on a weekday.
  • Gardening Assistance – One volunteer needed to oversee a new weekly gardening activity with Pensioners living in the Infirmary to maintain allocated allotments and plant pots. An ability to push wheelchairs is essential alongside knowledge of gardening, confidence to lead activities and an ability to engage with others. The session could be either a morning or afternoon activity on a weekday to suit.
  • IT Mentors – Two volunteers required to run a social ‘drop-in’ IT session for Pensioners who currently use their own laptops, computers and iPads or would like to learn how to access computers and the internet. Many Pensioners are fairly advanced with technology and often staff members are unable to answer all of their questions. The role would utilise Royal Hospital Chelsea computers/iPads and you would not be expected to use your own equipment.  IT Mentors must be flexible, patient and able to work in 1:1 or group situations. A knowledge of IT, interest in working with older people and availability at least once a week on any day is essential.
  • One volunteer needed to assist the Pottery Tutor in delivering a group pottery class for Pensioners on a Tuesday (either morning, afternoon or a full day). An individual with an artistic background and a basic understanding of ceramics would be desirable but not essential. An interest in working with older people is required.

The below roles would suit individuals who have a particular interest in enabling people with disabilities to enjoy activities, who have attended at least the equivalent of Dementia Friends training, and who have a positive attitude towards people living with dementia.

•          Chapel Assistance – One volunteer required on a Wednesday afternoon (3pm – 4.30pm) to accompany our Chelsea Pensioners who wish to attend our weekly Chapel service in the afternoon. Ability to push wheelchairs is essential while some knowledge of Christian hymns and an interest in the Christian faith would be beneficial.

•          Art & Craft – On Tuesday mornings (10am – 12pm), one creative individual is required to run a weekly art or craft-based sessions for individuals living with dementia and other cognitive impairments. The individual will deliver the session alongside an Activities Assistant.  Experience of working with and a positive attitude to those living with dementia is required alongside patience and lots of creative ideas! 

•          Afternoon Coffee with Walk & Talk – One volunteer needed to support our group café trip and group walk around our Ranelagh Gardens with Pensioners living on our dementia ward on a Tuesday afternoon (2.30pm – 4.30pm), particularly over the summer months.  An ability to push wheelchairs is essential while experience of working with people with dementia and complex needs is strongly desired. Experience of delivering wheelchair sports would also be beneficial. This role will be supervised by a professional care assistant/nurse/activities worker so volunteers will not be alone.

•          Reminiscence Assistance – One volunteer needed to support the Dementia Specialist Activities Worker in delivering weekly group reminiscence sessions for Pensioners living with dementia. The sessions will run on Thursday afternoons (2.30pm – 4.30pm). The individual must be chatty and able to engage Pensioners, including those with complex needs, in remembering their youth and lives before the Royal Hospital. Experience of working with people with cognitive impairments is desired alongside lots of ideas.

•          Gardening Assistance – One volunteer needed to assist the Dementia Specialist Activities Worker in delivering garden-based activities both outside on our dedicated balcony and, where required, ‘armchair gardening’. An ability to push wheelchairs is essential alongside knowledge of gardening and an ability to engage with individuals with cognitive impairments.

If you are able to commit to any of the above activities please email Volunteers@chelsea-pensioners.org.uk stating your name, contact number and the activity you are interested in and we will send you further information.