Volunteer for our historic organisation and help shape our future

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is the home of the iconic Chelsea Pensioners – retired soldiers of the British Army.   Since 1692 we have offered care and comradeship for veterans in recognition of their loyal service to the Nation.

The Royal Hospital community encourages Chelsea Pensioners to support each other, just as they did in the British Army.  This includes spending time together socially, taking part in activities and going on excursions together, accompanying fellow Pensioners to external medical appointments and visiting comrades in hospital. 

With their shared experience of the service ethos and military campaigns, the Chelsea Pensioners can be of enormous help to each other – the bonds of shared experience go beyond the spoken word.  This can benefit their mental health and wellbeing significantly, particularly when dealing with the effects of PTSD and dementia.  

Chelsea Pensioners, staff and volunteers work together as a team to support the routines and services of the Royal Hospital and contribute to the community to which they belong.

Diverse volunteering opportunities

We offer a wide range of volunteering roles within the Royal Hospital Chelsea, catering for various interests and skill sets.  Our dedicated volunteers play a vital part in providing a greater quality of life to our veterans.  They give up their time to befriend Pensioners, help them with activities, take them to hospital appointments, support them with admin and more.  We would not be able to do all we do here without their valuable skills, knowledge, energy, and commitment.  

Whether you are passionate about supporting and caring for our veterans, preserving our history and heritage, or getting your hands dirty in the garden, you can make a positive impact in your community.  

Why not play a part in an exciting period of change and expansion by becoming a volunteer for the Royal Hospital Chelsea? You’ll have the opportunity to be a part of unique community and work alongside the celebrated Chelsea Pensioners.

Current Volunteer Opportunities:

Community, Engagement, Outreach Volunteer

Community Engagement and Outreach volunteers will work with the Community Engagement and Outreach Manager and freelancers to ensure these visits, workshops and activities are delivered to the highest standards.

How to Apply
Online: To apply online, please visit our Volunteer Portal and complete the online application form.

Paper Application Form: If you wish to complete a paper registration form, please download and complete the Volunteer Application Form along with the Equality Monitoring Form.
Completed application forms should be sent to Volunteers@chelsea-pensioners.org.uk

Why volunteer with us?

Make a difference 
Whether you’re an enthusiastic researcher, enjoy helping with events or educational projects in the wider community, have an interest in history and heritage, or are keen to support our veterans, we have a role that will match your interests and talents.  

Be part of a supportive community
We value comradeship and community. When you volunteer with us, you will be part of our warm and inclusive team.  You will have the opportunity to meet new people, learn from one another, forge lasting friendships with people who truly care. 

Gain valuable experience 
Expand your skills, learn from other volunteers, staff and Pensioners as part of our unique organisation. 

Sharing our values
As a member of the team, you will be committed to supporting both the organisation and the Pensioners. You will strive to meet our core values of Nurture Belonging, Respect Individuals, Encourage Pride and Enjoy Life.

For more information about our culture, please see our Mission, Vision & Values

Join our volunteer team today

If you feel your values fit with our own, please apply to join our team of volunteers.

We have volunteer roles in these areas:

  • Pensioner care and support
  • Heritage
  • Grounds and gardening
  • Connecting with outside veterans and the wider community

 If you’re interested in joining team of volunteers, then please review our current vacancies above.

Don’t miss out on this unique chance to be a part of something truly special.  Volunteer with us and help shape the future of the Royal Hospital.  

Contact Us

Email:  Volunteers@chelsea-pensioners.org.uk  

Write to: 

Public Engagement Team
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Road, London.

Once we have received your completed application form, you’ll meet with our Volunteer and Work Experience Co-ordinator or Manager and the team member you will be working with.  If it’s decided to proceed, we will require two character references and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  You’ll then receive an induction before starting your volunteering. 

As a volunteer you’ll receive one-to-one support and your expenses will be covered.

Other opportunities

If you’re interested in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, please get in touch by emailing volunteers@chelsea-pensioners.org.uk

We’re also committed to building our work experience and graduate programme.  If you would like to join us on a work experience placement, please email WorkExperience@chelsea-pensioners.org.uk

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View the archive

King's Birthday Honours 2024
Royal Hospital Model of Care recognised in two awards at King’s Birthday Honours

The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s model of care for older veterans has been recognised through awards for two members of staff in The King's Birthday Honours list this year.

Pat Mcgurk
The Chelsea Pensioner who drove everyone from the SAS to popstars and a princess

Pat McGurk joined the Army at 17 and never looked back. As a driver in the Royal Corps of Transport, he worked with close protection and the SAS, before driving dignitaries, VIPs and royalty.