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Role description

St Columba’s Community Choir launched in August 2020. The aim of the choir is to offer patients, families, staff, volunteers and the local community the opportunity to come together to sing, as a shared experience. The choir offers a positive singing experience, along with the benefits this brings for health and well-being. The choir also forms part of St Columba’s work to engage with the local community, and encourage conversation and reflection on issues around death and dying.

What will I be doing/involved in?

Your exact tasks will be agreed with the Community Choir Facilitator and the Arts Lead, but will include some or all of the following:

  • To support the delivery of online sessions using Zoom and MS Powerpoint in terms of technology (online access)
  • Helping the choir facilitator to keep a watch on participants, making sure everyone is able to participate and enjoy themselves
  • To keep count of the number of participants
  • To join in with the singing activities during the sessions
  • When we return to face-to-face sessions, to support these by setting up equipment, welcoming participants, and handing out lyrics, clearing up and tidying away at the end. This may also involve handing out and collecting back instruments, cleaning instruments (in accordance with the Hospice infection control policy) and setting out/serving refreshments

What experience or skills do I need?

No music background is required in terms of playing instruments, reading music, or having previous choir experience. Some knowledge and experience of singing popular songs/folk songs and some keyboard, guitar or percussion skills would be desirable but not essential. Most importantly, one’s love of music and singing with others is essential for this role!

The community choir has started as an online choir due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the aim is to be a face-to-face choir when the measures allow this. We do not anticipate this change to happen soon, but we outline the volunteer role requirements and skills for both formats below for reference.

Skills/experience for online choir:

  • Able to attend weekly sessions based from own home (need to have a quiet space with a minimal chance of interruption during the sessions)
  • Reliable access to a computer and the internet, including camera/microphone
  • Confident working with Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows and the online platform Zoom

Skills/experience for face-to-face choir:

  • Able to attend weekly sessions
  • Reasonably fit, to help with setting up and clearing away
  • Working a data projector that projects words onto a screen
  • If they are used, cleaning instruments after each session in line with hospice infection control policy

General requirements

  • Understanding of the role of music and singing in a hospice environment
  • Experience of working with people with advanced illness or who have been bereaved is helpful, though not essential
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, and a good sense of humour
  • A strong understanding of the need for and importance of confidentiality and boundaries
  • Confidence and sensitivity when dealing with distress, people with advancing disease or those caring for someone
  • An understanding of the work and values of St Columba’s Hospice Care, and willingness to work withing these.

Time commitment and duration

The Community Choir runs every Tuesday, 11:30 - 12:30. We are looking for someone able to commit to support most sessions, and able to give notice if they are unable to attend (as far as possible) to enable us to find other cover.

Where will I be based?

Initially at home and then when face to face meetings are possible; St. Columba’s Hospice, 15 Boswall Road, Edinburgh and the Education Centre, 17 Boswall Road, Edinburgh 

Who will I be volunteering for?

Community Choir Facilitator, Hospice Arts Service

Who else will support me?

Hospice Arts Lead, Community Artist, Volunteer Services Team

Recruitment checks

  • Interview with Volunteer Services Manager, Arts Lead and Community Choir Facilitator
  • Application Form
  • Two references
  • PVG for face-to-face sessions, when they start 

Training

  • Hospice Induction (currently short online films about our work + a 2-hour Zoom meeting)
  • Team/role induction (with Arts Service staff)
  • Mandatory training (booklet to complete)
  • If needed, we can offer basic training in working with Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows and Zoom
  • Team meetings (if/as necessary)

Additional Information

  • Hospice Chaplains are always available to support volunteers
  • Volunteers may claim reasonable travelling expenses for transport to and from the Hospice, or the place you volunteer, e.g. one of our retail shops. Please speak to your manager about this.
  • The Hospice provides complimentary tea and coffee to all volunteers, staff, patients and families as part of the hospitality strategy.
  • If you volunteer for a full day at the Hospice, you can claim a free meal from the staff café or Iona Café. Please speak to your manager about this.

You can apply online here

Alternatively, please email us at volunteer@stcolumbashospice.org.uk to request a paper application form, or to ask us any questions about the role

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