Volunteers for your service

There are many ways volunteers can improve cancer services for people living with cancer. Find out how to involve a volunteer or advertise an opportunity.

What are the benefits of involving volunteers?

Volunteers have an established place in the delivery of health and social care services, and they are valued as part of the integrated health and social care team.

You might consider involving a volunteer to help you:

  • provide a friendly, person-centred approach to care
  • complete tasks outside the scope of your professionals.

As many volunteers have a personal cancer experience, they are also well placed to empathise and offer support to people living with cancer.

What can volunteers help with?

There are lots of ways volunteers can support service delivery:

  • providing advice and information
  • meeting and greeting
  • complementary therapies
  • administration and filling in forms
  • arranging events
  • sitting with service users waiting for appointments
  • making phone calls and befriending.

Who is responsible for managing volunteers?

You will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the volunteers in your service and will need to be involved in the interview process.

If your organisation employs a Volunteer Coordinator, make sure you are both clear about the responsibility for induction, support and management of your volunteer.

You will also need to familiarise yourself with your organisation's key volunteering policies and procedures, for example:

  • data protection
  • right to volunteer
  • volunteer expenses
  • insurance
  • lone working and health and safety.

You can speak to your Volunteer Coordinator about all of the above.

How to involve and manage volunteers

We want to ensure volunteers and their managers have a highly rewarding experience. We've developed  resources to help you achieve this, which include:

  • Macmillan Volunteering Quality Standards (MVQS)

    The Macmillan Volunteering Quality Standards (MVQS) complies with current volunteering legislation and best practice. You can use the framework to ensure you provide a high-quality and consistent volunteering experience to every volunteer who gives their time to your service.

  • Macmillan Volunteering Advisers

    Macmillan employs volunteering advisers who work with Macmillan professionals across the UK. They can advise you on good practice, help you plan recruitment of volunteers and provide training and advice to help you make the best use of your volunteers. You should contact your local Macmillan team for further details of how a volunteering adviser can help you.

To find out about upcoming training courses, please email us at volunteeringhelp@macmillan.org.uk.

How to advertise a volunteering opportunity

It's easy to advertise a volunteering opportunity with us. With thousands of monthly visits to our volunteering website, we'll help you find the right volunteer for your service.

If you would like to advertise a role on our website, please contact us at volsystemguidance@macmillan.org.uk.