Grants to create routes into hospice clinical careers at all levels, supported by the Rank Foundation.

What is the Programme?


The hospice sector is facing a retirement crisis over the next few years. One third of the hospice clinical workforce is aged over 55 compared to less than one fifth in the NHS. The loss of experienced clinical staff all at once would be devastating for the sector.

To help address this impending crisis, Hospice UK has developed a programme in partnership with the charity Helpforce to create routes into hospice clinical careers at all levels, and to establish a pipeline of new clinical staff through a Volunteer to Career (VtC) pathway.

Hospice UK’s Volunteer to Career will be a clinically led programme, whereby local volunteers considering a career in healthcare are recruited by hospices to undertake 60 hours of certificated training over the course of one year. Volunteers will be supported throughout the year by a dedicated Clinical Lead at each participating hospice.

At the end of the programme, hospices can recruit the volunteers, knowing they represent a talented, compassionate pool of potential employees, who can add real value to their clinical workforce. 

In partnership with Helpforce and the Rank Foundation, Hospice UK will:

  • Engage 10 hospices, help them identify and build internal capacity to deliver the work and find and match interested volunteers from their local communities.
  • Provide a blended learning programme for participating hospice Clinical Leads, who will work within their hospices to mentor the new volunteers. This includes help with project planning and data collection to build evidence of the value of the project.

By the end of their training, volunteers will be supported onto a career pathway aligned to your hospice’s identified workforce needs i.e. either via a university course, workplace apprenticeship, or paid employment route into eventually becoming a nursing associate (clinical band 2 or 3).

For full details of the programme please read the Information and Criteria Specification document, which is in the Apply Now section below.

Information webinar

You can now watch a recording of an information webinar, hosted by Helpforce, which discusses the Volunteer to Career programme and the grant application process, with staff from Helpforce and Hospice UK.

View the slide deck from the webinar.

Read our document which answers some key questions from the webinar.

Watch the information webinar on YouTube

Available Funding


Total available funding in this round is £100,000 and we are looking to award 10 grants of £10,000 each. 

This is to contribute towards the cost of supporting Clinical Leads to undertake this piece of work. Please note that other expenses arising from the programme (e.g. volunteer expenses) will need to be covered by the hospice. 



The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Friday, 7 June 2024. Applicants will be informed whether or not they have been successful in early July 2024.



Eligible organisations are independent adult and children's hospices that are members of Hospice UK and based in the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.



An outline timetable for the programme is given below. 

  • 15 May: Information Webinar 11:00-12:00
  • 7 June: Deadline for submission of applications is 17:00
  • Early July: Notification of decisions to hospices
Hospice UK 960 logo jobs board

How to Apply

There is a PDF of the application questions below.  Please use the PDF document  to draft your answers in Word before adding them to the online form once it becomes available. 

Application guidance and criteria

Outline of application questions - Please use this document to create your answers and then paste them into the online form.

Apply Now

Further Reading


We encourage you to read about how other hospices have benefitted from running the Volunteer to Career programme: 

Both websites are well worth a read!



Rank Foundation

This grant programme has been made possible by the Rank Foundation. Since 2002 the Foundation has provided funds to support special capital projects in adult independent voluntary hospices.

The Rank Foundation would like to emphasise that, due of the availability of this funding programme, they will not consider any direct applications from hospices or hospice led projects based in the UK.



Helpforce is a national charity that helps health and care organisations to accelerate the growth and impact of volunteering. This means frontline staff are happier, patients recover more quickly and people get the support they need to keep them well in their community.


Hospice UK

Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and end of life care. We work to ensure everyone affected by death, dying and grief gets the care and support they need, when they need it.

If you have any problems with the online form, or if you have any other queries about this grant programme, please contact the Grants Team at Hospice UK.