Your time is a valuable donation to us
Volunteers are an essential and much valued part of our charity and their contribution is vital. They help us to maintain the amazing services we provide and we couldn’t do it without them. They support us in so many ways, including:
- Working alongside staff at our Support and Information Centre
- Working in the RD&E oncology snack bar
- Serving refreshments on three of the wards at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital
- Helping in our award-winning shop
- Keeping the FORCE Centre gardens tidy, trimmed and welcoming
- Taking our services into the community
- Fundraising at a FORCE event or with one of our local groups in the community
Talk to us today
Offering support to anyone locally affected by cancer since 1987
FORCE Cancer Charity
Corner House, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW
FORCE nursing team, including benefits advice
Psychological and emotional support
Specialist oncology physiotherapy
Volunteering with FORCE
If you are looking for a unique opportunity to get involved with FORCE, there are a number of ways you can support us by donating your time in a range of volunteering roles.
At the FORCE Support Centre
Volunteers are the first point of contact when people arrive at the FORCE Cancer Support and Information Centre. They play an important part in welcoming visitors, helping them to feel at ease and offering refreshments. Our Centre volunteers do not need to have a healthcare background or personal experience of cancer but the ability to listen and be sensitive to needs of others is very important. This role requires volunteers to be pro-active, flexible and prepared to fulfil every aspect of the role with confidence as you will become involved in many different scenarios. Part of this role also involves visiting Cherrybrook Chemotherapy Unit, Yeo and Yarty wards to offer refreshments to patients and to offer information about FORCE.
At Tiverton, Okehampton or Ottery St Mary
FORCE is committed to making our services available to anyone who needs them as close as possible to where they live. Thanks to our outreach programme we are now able to cover more areas of Devon, providing help and support to anyone affected by cancer. At Okehampton, Tiverton and Ottery St Mary we mirror a number of the services on offer at our Exeter Support and Information Centre. Volunteers play a vital role in helping us to deliver these services to people who are affected by cancer in these communities.
At the FORCE Snack Bar
Within the oncology unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is the FORCE snack bar which is open from 9.30am-4.15pm, Monday to Friday. Our volunteers are the friendly faces who serve patients and staff with drinks and refreshments as well directing people to the FORCE Support and Information Centre where appropriate. They are responsible for opening and closing the snack bar, operating the till, cashing up, washing mugs etc using a dishwasher, stock control and daily checks including cleaning and hygiene.
At the FORCE Charity Shop
Our shop in Exeter is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 4:30pm each day. It sells 100% donated goods and is one of the most interesting and popular of its kind in the country. We have a great many volunteering opportunities on the shop floor or behind the scenes and you can be as flexible as you like with time you have available to volunteer. To join the team or get more information, call into the shop for a chat with manager Anna Heard or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At fundraising events for FORCE
Events like bike rides, concerts, runs and fayres, run by our fundraising team cannot happen without the help of a huge team of volunteers. Also, our Friends of FORCE groups which are in a variety of locations, need helpers at the events they run to raise vital funds. For more information on these, please go to the fundraising pages on this website.
Frequently asked questions
Why volunteer for FORCE Cancer Charity?
People volunteer with FORCE Cancer Charity for many different reasons. Some people want to improve existing skills and learn new ones, others like the company and friendships that are made and some have experienced using our services before and just want the opportunity to give something back by volunteering in their local community.
What skills and experience do I need?
You don’t need any specific skills or experience for our volunteer roles, just enthusiasm, the ability to talk to our visitors appropriately and a willingness to embrace and, with training, learn all aspects of the role.
If I have other skills to offer, can I find a role to fit them?
Generally, the roles we have are defined as we know at FORCE which volunteer support works best and what the needs of the charity and its users are. In the first instance, we would always place you in one of the current roles. However, if we know that you have other skills and the charity finds a way that we can invest in your skills further, we would certainly approach you about the possibility of enhancing your volunteer role.
How old do I need to be?
The minimum age for volunteering at FORCE is 18 years old. Therefore, we are unable to take any school students looking for work experience. There is no maximum age, it would just depend on your ability to perform the tasks and activities involved.
How long will it take before I can start volunteering?
There is a process that is the same for everyone who wants to volunteer at FORCE. Once you have made your initial inquiry about becoming a volunteer, you will be invited to attend a meeting with the Voluntary Service Co-ordinator. At this meeting you will learn much more about the roles involved and get a chance to find out more about the charity, depending on your knowledge already. If, after that, you suit FORCE and FORCE suits you, it’s a case of filling in various forms and waiting for the next Induction Day.
How much time will I need to give?
This really is up to you. We have some volunteers who come in weekly, fortnightly or some want to be cover volunteers and fill in as and when they are needed. Most volunteers decide on a certain day/time that suits them best. We would never expect you to do a full day. We do invest a lot of time in getting you to the point of volunteering, so while we always remain as flexible as possible, it’s better for you to come regularly as it integrates you into the charity sooner and you will gain so much more from the experience.
Will I need references?
Yes. We ask you to give the names and contact details of two people that are not family members, are over the age of 18 years and have been known to you for longer than 2 years.
Do you carry out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check?
Yes. We will ask you for personal information and we need certain types of original ID in order to complete this check. The DBS check is done at Enhanced Level for all volunteers with the exception of our shop where volunteers don’t require a DBS check.
If I have been a cancer patient and/or a service user, can I volunteer?
Once a full 12 months have passed from your treatment and from the last time you used any of our services at FORCE, then we can consider you for volunteering. However, even after this time, not everyone is ready to start volunteering. Also, if you have experienced a bereavement we would advise that you leave it at least a year before applying.
Are there administrative volunteering roles?
No. We do not take on any administrative based volunteers.
Is there any training involved?
Yes. At the induction day you receive training in Manual Handling, Fire Safety and Information Governance (GDPR and Confidentiality). Our Snack Bar volunteers receive training in Food Hygiene and full training is also given in our charity shop. Training is updated as and when necessary so is on-going.
Will you provide me with a reference?
Once you’ve been volunteering regularly with us for six months, we’d be happy to provide you with a character reference. We are happy to provide a reference up to three years after you have stopped volunteering.
Your time is a valuable donation to us
We are always keen to hear from anyone wanting to join our dedicated team of volunteers. It all starts with a chat. Our Voluntary Service Coordinator, Heather Taylor, will tell you about the work of the charity, talk you through the volunteering options and explain what checks we need to carry out. We also need to find out a few things about you – why you want to become a volunteer, what you can contribute, your skills and suitability and how much time you can give.
If you like the opportunities we have to offer and we have the right opening available for you to join our team, we get the application process started. FORCE will provide you with training, give you helpful guidelines and you’ll have a full induction process to help you meet the responsibilities of your role. The induction process can take anything up to three months, depending on our schedule.
Once you become a volunteer you’ll receive ongoing support and supervision.
You need to be at least 18 years old and if you have had a close personal experience of cancer or bereavement, we require you to wait at least a year before volunteering at our Support Centre, at the hospital or at one of our FORCE@ locations.
Your time is a valuable donation to us. Please consider becoming a FORCE volunteer.