Volunteering at Jessica’s House Hospice

Are you interested in learning more about volunteering at Jessica’s House Hospice? Do you have extra time in your schedule and want to feel like you are making a difference? Joining the volunteer team at Jessica’s House might be for you!

Jessica’s House Hospice could not operate without its team of skilled, compassionate volunteers. Our volunteers are an amazing group of dedicated individuals who give freely of their time, skills, kindness and compassion to ensure the highest level of care is given to residents and their families. We are very fortunate to have more than 60 trained volunteers who give their gift of time to gardening, lawn and building maintenance, reception duties, kitchen duties, cleaning tasks and perhaps most importantly, bedside care and companionship to the residents and families who are on their end-of-life journey.



Kathy and Pauline

Why Volunteer at Jessica’s House Hospice

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and exposes you to people with common interests. In a hospice setting such as Jessica’s House, volunteering is an opportunity to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of the residents and families we serve, who are on an end-of-life journey. As a Jessica’s House Hospice volunteer, you will develop new skills or perhaps build on your existing knowledge. You will be challenged in new ways as you learn all the positive aspects of Hospice Palliative Care. Volunteers are essential to providing the level of care and support that residents and their loved ones deserve during a most difficult time in their lives. Whether you choose to be a direct care volunteer, join the gardening team or any of the other opportunities available, you can be assured that you will receive the necessary training, orientation and ongoing support to make your volunteer experience as rewarding as it can be.

What Our Volunteers Have to Say


I like the feeling that I’m making a difference at this difficult time in the families lives.


I love getting to know the residents and their families. I love doing anything I can to bring them joy, whether that is listening to their stories, bringing them drinks or treats, or just sitting quietly with them, holding their hand.

I love interacting with the staff and supporting them in anyway with their important work. Whether that’s cleaning up,making them tea or helping with patient care.

I love when I finish my shift and I feel I’ve made a difference by brightening the physical space of the house or just someone’s day.


Jessica’s House Hospice is so beautiful. I love helping to keep the house and the gardens clean, but most of all I love the support and kindness it offers the community and surrounding area to those in need of hospice care.


Initially, I became a volunteer for Jessica’s House by organizing one of the many fund-raising events held with the hope of building a Hospice in our area. We were neighbours of the family, our children grew up together, and I wanted to help in some small way. I enjoyed the experience and people so much that I wanted to continue helping, so I took the courses and joined the volunteer team.

Becoming a volunteer at Jessica’s House has been a decision I have never regretted and hope to continue for a very long time. We have lost several family members and friends over the years and how we wish Jessica’s House had been here for each of them. Rather than a palliative care room in a clinical facility, I see people and their families get to enjoy a home-like setting where they can be a family again and do not have to become part of their loved ones care team. I hear wonderful, heartwarming stories, secrets, and share a small part of their lives. When I leave, even if it’s been a sad day, I always feel so much better for being allowed the privilege of spending time with the families.

My hope is the community learns that Jessica’s House is not just a place to go to pass to their next chapter. If you have the time and desire to help others, consider volunteering at Jessica’s House, a place where families may have all the privacy, peace, laughter, tears, and caring friends around them they wish. You would also help alleviate the ongoing crisis of not enough staff and beds in our health care facilities.

Volunteers care, volunteers help, and provide a tremendous monetary savings for the families of a Hospice resident.

Anonymous Volunteer

I had one of the most satisfying hospice volunteer experiences of my life last week. Jessica’s House Hospice has three rooms. On this day, one room was empty, one room had a resident that I had grown to truly care for, and the third held the body of a man who had died less than an hour before I arrived. The deceased's family had arrived moments before me. As the family were saying their last goodbyes they would rotate in and out of the Jessica’s House living/dining room. I am well used to attending to the dying as I’ve been at this for over 16 years now, but attending to the freshly grieving is something I don’t often get a chance to do. Timing is everything. The widow mostly stayed beside her husband while the son, daughter and two grandchildren came and went. My special resident was sleeping so I just hung out with the family. I can’t say exactly how or why, but we seemed to bond in a small way. I was making coffee, toast and jam for the kids. We talked about family dynamics, current events, just normal things but the house really felt like a home, and I was privileged, for four hours, to become attached to this clan. The family held off calling the funeral home for three hours. When the funeral director arrived alone, they needed assistance getting the deceased off the bed and into a shroud. I was the man for the job. A first for me. There is nothing quite so intimate as preparing a soul for departure. I was moved, honoured and humbled. I helped take him out to the waiting car and watched as they drove away. Meanwhile, I was in and out of my special residents room. Cutting up her breakfast and feeding it to her. Talking with her about her life and, something that is very rare in residents, talking about my life. Every once in a while you encounter a resident that touches you in a deep way. I feel this with her and I believe she with me. After our man had gone and the family had packed up and left. I went to say goodbye to my gal. I said to her, see you in a week, and she began to cry. I took her hand and held it, told her not to fear, and said that I feel the same way. She smiled and I left. I try not to let these things get to me. If I did I’d have quit long ago. I like to protect myself by imagining that I am collecting data on the human condition, but, on this drive home, I was profoundly moved by my experiences that morning. I thank the stars for bringing me to this work. It enriches me and satisfies me in ways that are hard to describe.

This is why I am a hospice volunteer.

Thanks to everyone that make this possible.


Although I have never sat with a person when they've taken their final breath, I have learned through observation that death does not need to be scary. My first day, my first experience, here at Jessica’s House showed me the respect and compassion that is offered at a most difficult time. The kindness and support that Jessica’s House provides for the patient and especially their families is immeasurable and makes their loss less painful.

What are the roles for Volunteers

Direct Volunteers

Direct Volunteers come in contact with JHH residents and their loved ones. For this reason, training and screening is more in-depth than with Indirect Volunteers.

Direct Volunteers role may include

  • Join the general volunteer team and as such, self schedule for one of the daily shifts inside the Hospice.

  • This role includes, but is not limited to Laundry and general housekeeping duties

  • Answering the telephone and greeting/directing visitors

  • Grocery shopping and preparation of light meals

  • Assisting the registered staff with bedside care

  • Providing companionship to residents and their loved ones

  • Join the Grief and Bereavement Support Team. Under the leadership of our Grief and Bereavement Services Coordinator, you will be trained to facilitate group support sessions where you can share your skills and compassion to help others manage emotions of grief, anxiety or fear associated with a life limiting diagnosis or the loss of a loved one.

Indirect Volunteers

We use the term Indirect Volunteer to describe those volunteers who do not have direct contact with our residents.

Indirect volunteer role may include

  • A member of the Maintenance Team, who, under the direction of the Task Advisory Team’s Maintenance Lead, will perform general preventative maintenance and repairs for the upkeep of the physical building and its external surroundings, including landscaping, gardening and lawn maintenance-

  • A member of the Task Advisory Team. The Jessica’s House Hospice Task Advisory Team is responsible for the effective operations of the Hospice through committed participation in a Team Lead capacity, under the leadership of the Executive Director.

  • A member of a Fundraising Committee. Fundraising is essential to the ongoing operation of the Hospice. Jessica’s House Hospice hosts three signature events each year, Hike for Hospice, Handbags for Hospice, Tribute Tree Memorial leading into the Holiday Season.

How to Become a Volunteer

The first step to becoming a volunteer is to attend a Mandatory Information Session. During the Information Session you will learn about the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the volunteers, as well as the mandatory training components and screening process required. The training components vary for those interested in volunteering inside the hospice as opposed to outside. As you can appreciate, having direct contact with the residents and their families requires a more in-depth understanding of hospice palliative care and therefore the training protocol has been developed accordingly.

Volunteer Gallery

FAQ’s about Volunteering

How many hours a month do I have to volunteer?

Volunteers who choose to spend their time inside the Hospice, are asked to commit to a minimum of two, 4 hour shifts per month, for at least one year. We are proud to say we have volunteers who have just reached their five year milestone! Volunteers working outside the Hospice will be provided with a schedule in advance, so they can choose the times that work best for them.

How old do I have to be to become a volunteer at Jessica’s House Hospice?

Due to the nature of the volunteer tasks, all volunteers should be 18 years of age or older.

Will I have to have a background check done and how much does that cost?

Volunteers serving outside the Hospice will be required to submit a Criminal Record Check, while volunteers serving inside will submit a Vulnerable Sector Check. Jessica’s Hospice Hospice will provide you with all the online links and required documentation to request the appropriate Check. There is no cost to the volunteer.

The topic of death makes me very uncomfortable. Are there other ways I can get involved?

We realize death is not easy and do not want to put anyone in an uncomfortable situation. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with Jessica’s House Hospice that don’t involve direct contact with the residents and families. There are opportunities to join the lawn maintenance or gardening team. On occasion there are vacancies on the Task Advisory Team and fresh faces are always welcome on Fundraising Committees.

Will I be required to work on my own? How will I know what to do?

At Jessica’s House Hospice we have a great team of trained volunteers. Should you choose to join one of the volunteer teams, you will be set up with the appropriate training, orientation and shift shadowing. You will receive your direction either from a registered staff member, if volunteering inside the Hospice or an experienced Team Lead, if joining the gardening or maintenance team.

Do you want to find out more information about Volunteering at Jessica’s House Hospice?

Fill out our form so our staff can reach out.

Your donations allow us to continue to bring great support and services to our residents and their families.

Your donation will also help us continue to grow education and our grief support to our residents, their loved ones, and our community. Each donation allows us to keep all our resources FREE to anyone in need.