Volunteer Counsellor / CBT Therapist – St Columba’s Hospice Palliative Care, Edinburgh

Volunteer Counsellor / CBT Therapist


Volunteer role


Role description

This purpose of this role is to provide 1:1 counselling or CBT to the family members of patients at the Hospice, and to assist with the facilitation of bereavement support groups, as part of the holistic care offered by St Columba’s Hospice Care.

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?

  • Provide time-limited 1:1 counselling/CBT to the family members and loved ones of people accessing palliative care
  • Co-facilitate support groups for bereaved relatives, working alongside an experienced co-facilitator
  • Attend regular and ongoing supervision and CPD opportunities
  • Maintain accurate and appropriate records, in line with organisational policies and procedures

What experience or skills do I need?

  • Educated to Diploma level in counselling / psychotherapy / CBT
  • Have an in-depth knowledge of at least one psychological therapy
  • Registered with BACP, COSCA, UKCP, BABCP or equivalent professional body recognised by HealthCare Profession Council
  • Proven empathic listening skills
  • Advanced communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work as part of the Family Support Team – without close supervision, but within Hospice processes
  • A strong understanding of the need for and importance of patient and client confidentiality and boundaries, at all times
  • Confidence and sensitivity when responding to distressed and anxious family members
  • Willingness to work as part of the wider Hospice team, and with staff and volunteers as required
  • Willingness to attend individual and group supervision, induction training, and continuing professional development
  • Experience of working with bereaved people is helpful but not essential
  • Willingness to follow Infection Control guidelines

Time commitment and duration

Approximately ½ day a week, morning or afternoon, as agreed (no fewer than 2 and no more than 4 clients per week) plus attendance at monthly in-house supervision (one hour duration) The role will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

Opportunity to attend Family Support Team meetings on a monthly basis.

Where will I be based?

St. Columba’s Hospice, 15 Boswall Road, Edinburgh EH5 3RW

Who will be supporting me?

Family Support Team Manager; Hospice Counsellors, Supportive Care team, Volunteer Services Manager, Volunteer Services team, other Hospice staff as needed

Recruitment checks

  • Interview with Manager of Family Support Team and Counsellor from Family Support Team
  • Application Form
  • Two references
  • PVG – Vulnerable adults


  • Hospice orientation
  • Hospice Volunteer Induction
  • Family Support Team Induction Programme, including training on identification of grief reactions appropriate for psychological intervention (e.g. depression, PTSD, prolonged grief disorder)
  • Mentoring programme for group facilitation

We will provide ongoing supervision and continuing professional development opportunities

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.
  • The Hospice provides complimentary tea and coffee to all volunteers, staff, patients and families as part of the hospitality strategy.

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

Download a role description


Find out more

Go to our Volunteer page to find out more about volunteering at the Hospice.