Volunteering with Abbeyfield
Help us alleviate loneliness for older peopleSearch our current volunteering vacancies
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Abbeyfield. Our founder Richard Carr-Gomm, our first ever volunteer, gave his time to help lonely and isolated older people. Today, over sixty years later, 4,500 volunteers continue his legacy, bringing their skills and personality to our houses and homes to ‘make time for older people’.
We welcome volunteers of all ages and abilities and have countless roles to suit the amount of time you can give. Volunteering roles include gardening, looking after pet hens, befriender, activities assistants, admin support and many more.
Many roles just require your time, energy and enthusiasm! Our volunteer role descriptions list desired skills or experience, but we know everyone is unique, so we’re always interested to hear about any other skills that you could bring to our homes.
You will receive a full induction, including any training and support that is necessary to help you feel confident in your volunteering role.
You will be invited for an informal interview when you apply for a volunteer role. This informal interview is a two-way process, so don’t be concerned - it’s as much to find out if you are right for the role as we are right for you.
Our first and foremost priority is safeguarding our residents. You will be asked to supply two references and all of our volunteers will require a DBS check.
You should never be out of pocket when you volunteer with us. We reimburse volunteers for out of pocket expenses, for example, relevant travel costs.
We often refer to volunteers as ‘the lifeblood of Abbeyfield’ and when you meet people like Nicola, it’s easy to see why. Having volunteered with Abbeyfield for a number of years, we caught up with Nicola to find out about her role.
"Cunningham House is in Pirbright, the village in which I live. I was approached by a member of the House committee 13 years ago and asked whether I would like to volunteer there and so I joined the house committee. I chose to volunteer at Cunningham House, because it was local and when I went to look round, it was so warm, friendly and homely, with interesting residents that it was difficult to say no!"
"Over the years I have been on the house committee, chairman of the House Committee and a member of the board of trustees but more recently I was responsible for organising the social events such as regular scrabble meetings and film afternoons and also outings for the residents - pub lunches, garden centre visits - and also welcoming entertainers to the house."
"I feel that it has been a privilege to be involved with Cunningham House, because our residents are so interesting and engaged, they make it a pleasure to volunteer there. I am still trying to beat one of our residents (in her 90's) at scrabble!"
"The Abbeyfield mission is an important one to support as I am aware of the large number of elderly living on their own at home with carers popping in and out. At Cunningham House, there is always someone to talk to you if you want to. The residents come together for a midday and evening meal and have lively debates about politics, current events and catch up with each other’s family. There is too much loneliness in the community and I feel that Abbeyfield is addressing this. "
"If someone was thinking of volunteering, I’d wholeheartedly encourage them. For the few hours I gave up, I had the benefit of meeting and spending time with some fantastic people, not only residents but other volunteers too. I learnt about life during the second world war, school days in the 1930's, and local village history that I would never have known about."
Abbeyfield has complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 and is COVID-secure. Please click to find out more about our response to the pandemic.