Dragonfly volunteer (palliative care)

Dragonfly volunteers will:

  • Support patients who are approaching end of life, this could include patients without family or with family who may live out of area.
  • Support family member to be able to go and have a break safe in the knowledge someone is with their loved one.
  • Stay with family members if requested throughout this difficult time.
  • Report any changes to the patient’s condition to registered staff on the ward.
  • Engage with patients to provide therapeutic care and interaction.
  • Offer therapeutic contact that will provide comfort if appropriate.
  • Read quietly to patients if requested and at an appropriate time.
  • Chat about the patient’s history and interests, reminisce using; memory boxes, photographs and music etc.
  • Accompany patients with staff permission (within and outside the ward environment) to allow them the freedom to walk around thereby reducing restrictions that may lead to escalation of behaviours.
  • Engage in general conversation and really listen to patients.
  • As part of the therapeutic interaction, encourage patients to be aware of their nutritional and hydration needs and assist with mouth care as required.
  • Complete relevant documentation such as ‘My Care Card’.
  • To act as an ambassador for the palliative care team and promote the Dragonfly service.

Personal qualities:

  • Compassion and empathy
  • Tact and sensitivity
  • Resilience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Commitment to ensuring that the patient has support at the end of their life
  • Ability to work alone and as part of team
  • Polite and approachable
  • Professional approach

Administrative responsibilities:

  • Show respect, good manners, workplace etiquette
  • Report any changes to the patient’s condition to registered staff on the ward
  • Complete relevant documentation such as ‘My Care Card’
  • Adhere to all trust policies and procedures

Management and leadership responsibilities:

  • Supporting volunteers as and when required

Policy and service development:

  • Act as an ambassador for the palliative care team and therapeutic care team and promote the service

Training requirements:

As a dragonfly clinic volunteer you will complete the following training:

  • Trust corporate training
  • Therapeutic support programme volunteer induction training
  • Any other training identified as appropriate to the role
  • Donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Palliative care face to face training
  • eELCA online training
  • Sage and Thyme communication training
  • Mouth care

Your commitment:

Your commitment to this role will be discussed on an individual basis. We ask that all volunteers commit to a minimum of two hours per week

Support and supervision:

Your first line of support and for any enquiries will be the therapeutic support programme team based in an office opposite Costa Coffee, The James Cook University Hospital. Further to this the palliative care team would provide support. All Dragonfly volunteers can access supervision on a regular basis.


The palliative care team and the therapeutic care team will provide you with any information updates, training opportunities and upcoming events on a regular basis.

Users of the service:

  • All patients, carers, visitors and staff within South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


  • Burgundy NHS volunteer polo shirt (provided)
  • NHS volunteer badge (provided)
  • Black trousers
  • Black shoes

To apply for this role please contact:

Therapeutic Support Programme Team Office
The James Cook University Hospital
Marton Road

Call the team on: 01642 835863

Email us at: stees.volunteering@nhs.net

Please note that due to COVID-19 we only have limited volunteer roles available at this time.

Join our volunteer community!

If you have a few hours to spare and would be interested in joining our growing community of volunteers click the button below to email the team for more information.

Email the team