Information for Care Homes

Find out more about Care Home Volunteers

We know there are so many excellent care homes that show great compassion and consideration in looking after their residents. However, care homes are always very busy places and we know that carers may not always have the time to spend in conversation with individual residents, particularly those who are not able to join in organised activities.

Volunteers are ideally placed to provide an additional resource to give friendship, conversation and companionship to residents.


Unlike in hospices and hospitals, volunteers are not widely found in care homes. We have researched and identified the main obstacles to volunteering in care homes

  • The difficulty in recruiting suitable volunteers
  • Vetting and administration problems
  • The responsibility of day to day management of the work of volunteers
  • The need for understanding and awareness by volunteers of the requirements and difficulties of residents
  • The extra duty placed on care staff by volunteers
  • The risk that volunteers may unwittingly try to carry out inappropriate functions
  • The consistency of support that volunteers can give
  • The lack of a tradition or culture of volunteering in care homes.

Care Home Volunteers has designed a recruitment, training and support programme for volunteers which overcomes these challenges.We see our contribution to your work as an equal partnership.

Our partner care homes are asked to sign an agreement with us covering matters including:

  • Recruitment
  • Interviews
  • Completing DBS checks
  • Induction and orientation to your care home and our respective responsibilities in the way our volunteers carry out their roles
  • Ongoing support and training for volunteers
  • Insurance for all volunteers

We enter into an agreement with each care home so that our roles are clearly defined. When placing volunteers we work closely with individual care homes to take into account their particular practices and values (not all care homes are the same!).

We bear in mind the skills and interests of volunteers and match them to the needs of the home and the residents.

We support the care home manager, activities coordinators and volunteer coordinators in the management of our volunteers and commit to a regular visit to care homes.


Our on-going support for volunteers and care homes continues after the training period.

Our staff will contact care homes on a regular basis to ensure that all is progressing well.

We have regular ‘get-togethers’ for each cohort of volunteers where we can celebrate good practice and long service, and can continue to learn from each other’s experiences.

We involve experienced volunteers in the training of new groups of volunteers.

Public Endorsements of Care Home Volunteers

Professor Martin Green OBE
Chief Executive, Care
“Care Home Volunteers are a vital resource and a fantastic connection to communities, and I hope that many more care homes and their residents will benefit from volunteers in the future” February 2017
Julian Kirby
Chief Officer, Age UK Wiltshire
“Age UK Wiltshire unreservedly endorses the work of Care Home Volunteers. The quality of their work is outstanding, combining professionalism in everything they do with an extraordinary compassion for older people.” February 2017
Sharon Allen OBE
CEO, Skills for Care
“Volunteering is a kind-hearted, two-way process. It brings social interaction, energy and enthusiasm to the lives of others and also enriches the life of the giver. What’s not to love?” February 2017