Role description

To provide a high quality, professional reception and telephone service to patients, doctors, staff and colleagues, health service professionals and others. To act as the first point of contact to anyone when arriving and entering the Hospice. To ensure that enquiries from patients are efficiently and courteously handled.
Hospice staff and volunteers are expected to reflect our Hospice Values in the way they carry out their roles, and in their interactions with each other and with patients, family members and any other visitors.
Our Values are: Care and Compassion, Respect, Trust and Partnership

What will I be doing/involved in?

  • Initial welcome of everyone arriving at the Hospice reception area, greeting them and directing them to the appropriate person/ place.

  • Answering and transferring phone calls as needed.

  • Addressing visitors questions and needs and providing an overall welcoming environment.

  • Making sure that visitors are told about infection control measures

  • To adhere to fire alarm procedures

  • To refer any issues that are outside the remit of this role to Lead Receptionist or a senior member of staff.

  • To play their part in keeping the Reception area clean and tidy

What experience or skills do I need?

  •  Previous reception experience desirable, but not essential

  • Strong customer service skills

  • Communication and listening skills

  • Interpersonal skills – including the ability to relate to and communicate with a wide variety of people, some of whom may be distressed or anxious and the ability to work as part of a wider team.

  • Strong organisational ability

  • Attention to detail

  • Confidence and sensitivity when dealing with difficult information from distressed and anxious patients or relatives and a strong understanding of confidentiality and boundaries

  • Willingness to attend group supervision, and continuing professional development updates

  • Experience of working with people who are dealing with advanced illness is helpful, though not essential

  • Understanding of the work and values of St Columba’s Hospice and willing to keep informed and stay updated about our work

  • Be an ambassador of St Columba’s Hospice

  • Follow Infection Control guidelines

Time commitment and duration

One shift every week or fortnight per volunteer.

Shifts are available 7 days a week:

8.30am - 12.30pm, 12.30pm - 4.30pm, 4.30pm - 6.30pm, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Tuesday, Wednesday only – 11.30am - 2.30pm

The role will be reviewed on a yearly basis

Where will I be based?

St Columba's Hospice Care, 15 Boswall Road, Edinburgh

Who will be supporting me?

Lead Receptionist

Who else will support me?

Volunteer Services Manager, Volunteer Services team, Hospice staff as needed

Recruitment checks

  • Interview with Lead Receptionist and the Volunteer Services Manager
  • Application Form
  • Two references
  • Police Disclosure – standard
  • Volunteers must be 18 years or over


  • Hospice Volunteer Induction Programme
  • Hospice Orientation
  • Team / role induction and training (with reception team)
  • 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 to request a paper application form, or to ask us any questions about the role

Download a role description


We use cookies to give you the best experience we can. If you continue, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the website. More about our cookies