New Volunteering Opportunities Now Available

Throughout the Royal Hospital Chelsea, volunteers play a vital part in providing a greater quality of life for the Chelsea Pensioners.

Volunteers support the work of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in a variety of different ways. This currently includes a variety of roles, including helping Pensioners to pursue existing interests or try out new ones as part of the weekly activities timetable, assisting with trips and outings, running a shopping trolley service in our Infirmary building and spending time befriending Pensioners.

As demand is quite high for volunteering roles at the Royal Hospital, we open up the application process three times a year; in February, June, and October. This month, the roles we are looking to fill are listed below. If any of these roles sound like something you would be interested in, please email our Activities & Volunteer Co-ordinator on and she will then send you an application form over email. If you do not have access to email, please call 0207 881 5311.

All applicants will then be asked to attend an open morning at the Royal Hospital on Mon 25th Feb, details of which will be given to you on receipt of your application form. This is an opportunity for you to get to know the Royal Hospital and for us to get to know you. After the open morning, if it is decided that you would be a good fit, the Activities & Volunteer Coordinator will get in touch with you and you will begin the enrolment process.

If there are no roles that appeal to you here, please keep an eye on the website during our next recruitment month (June), for other roles that may better suit you.

We thank you for your interest in the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and hope to hear from you soon.

Current volunteer vacancies:


Role: Befriending is a vital volunteer role at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. 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.

This role is available in both the nursing wards and the ‘long wards’ (accommodation for the more independent Pensioners)

Hours: Approx. 2 hours a week plus more if required. Minimum 1 hour per week. Morning or afternoon.

I.T. mentor/s

Role: 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 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 Royal Hospital 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.

General activities helper specific to particular day

Role: The activities team is looking for volunteers who can commit to a particular day or half-day every week, to help them with the various activities and events in and around the Royal Hospital throughout the week. The ideal candidate will be flexible and able to get stuck in with a variety of group activities, help on outings occasionally, and also be able to spend time with Pensioners on a 1:1 basis during quiet times. We are particularly interested in hearing from people who have an interest in arts & crafts, exercise for the elderly, and music.

Hours: One half day or full day per week.

Model-making activity helper and / or model-railway activity helper

Role: A small group of our Pensioners would like to start a model railway group. Another small group are very keen to pursue model-making. We have the space, the funds, and the enthusiasm for both activities to run, but we require some help from one or more volunteers to help us put it all together! If you are interested in one or both of these activities, please get in touch. You would be working with Pensioners from across the site, and would receive assistance from the activity team. There is a lot of scope to make this role your own and to incorporate your existing hobby with really valuable voluntary work with the elderly.

Hours: Approx. 2 hours a week per activity. Preferably morning, but this is flexible.

Gymnasium Supervisor

Role: At the Royal Hospital we have a well-equipped gym which is widely used by the Pensioners. The Pensioners attend to complete a physiotherapy prescribed exercise programme for rehabilitation after injury or health problems or for general fitness. It is our current policy that Pensioners are always supervised whilst completing their exercise programme. We are therefore looking for volunteers with an interest in helping the Pensioners stay active and ideally with knowledge or experience in using gym equipment. Volunteers would work closely with the therapy staff and be given full training.

Hours: Minimum 1 hour a week, Mon-Fri, Mornings between 9am-11am or afternoons between 2pm-3pm.

Mobility scooter/ Electric wheelchair supervision assistant

Role:At the Royal Hospital we pride ourselves on helping the Pensioners to maintain independence as they age and their mobility changes. To help with this the Occupational Therapist may issue the Pensioner with a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair. Sometimes the pensioner is able to drive independently but requires supervision when using their aid. Sometimes the pensioner will require a few extra practice sessions to gain confidence. We are therefore looking for volunteers to supervise, guide and assist the pensioners whilst driving their scooter in the local community, either on shopping trips or for pleasure. No experience required but full training will be given and volunteers undertaking this role will be supported by the OT.

Hours: Flexible, initially Mon-Fri between 8am-4pm


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