Role title: Penny Brohn UK Information volunteer at Bristol Hematology and Oncology Centre
Main purpose of role: Offering information and support to people who are living with the impact of cancer and supporting the hospital at health and wellbeing events. In particular informing people about Penny Brohn UK services – what they are, how they can help and how to access them.

Direct contact:


BHOC Client Coordinator


Penny Brohn UK works in partnership with local hospitals to engage with cancer patients and their supporters across the south west. We attend events organised by oncology departments across the region, where we are invited to have an information stand, in a ‘marketplace’ setting along with other organisations (e.g. Macmillan), and have an opportunity to explain and offer our services at these events.

BHOC Health & Wellbeing for Cancer Patients

One of our important relationships that we have within the region is with the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC). As part of the NHS’s ‘Transforming Cancer Services’ project, BHOC are aiming to increase support available to cancer patients by providing more holistic health and wellbeing support, one aspect of which is Health and Wellbeing events.

There are now 3 different Health & Wellbeing events run by BHOC for cancer patients, which Penny Brohn UK have been invited to attend and support. It is key for us as a charity to work collaboratively with the NHS to reach people living with cancer where they are accessing support and these events are a wonderful opportunity for us to do that.

These events are organised by the   cancer support worker team and give patients information about a wide range of health and wellbeing issues relating to their cancer experience, including access to local community support services, one of which is Penny Brohn UK.

Purpose of the role

We need Penny Brohn volunteers to help us attend and support these Health & Wellbeing events, and help raise awareness about our services. Feedback from one of these events has shown that people really appreciate having a face they can put to the organisation and someone they can talk to in person. We would ideally like to have a team of volunteers to attend the events, set up and look after the information stall and talk to anyone interested in finding out more about the charity. It might also involve playing a Penny Brohn video and introducing this video, saying a few key points about the charity to the audience.

Why are volunteers needed?

The BHOC client coordinator works in BHOC 3 days a week, facilitating and speaking at the existing New Patient Talk for patients about to start Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy, as well as supporting patients on the Chemotherapy Day Unit and other parts of the hospital, and dealing with referrals from the Support Workers and other hospital staff. They are unable to attend all of the BHOC’s health and wellbeing events which they have been invited to, and volunteers would be invaluable in helping to support both Penny Brohn and the BHOC in achieving this.

What is involved?

There are 3 events at which volunteers might possibly help:

  1. First Steps event – for patients who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. These will hopefully be attended by the BHOC Client Coordinator where possible. Where this isn’t possible it would be extremely helpful to have a Penny Brohn volunteer attend the event, be a point of reference for Penny Brohn and be part of the marketplace information stand:
  • Be available before and after the event, and during the tea break to offer information about our services, give out relevant leaflets and chat with patients who are interested, including taking referrals if desired.
  1. Next Steps event – for patients who have finished their cancer treatment. Where possible to be supported by two Penny Brohn volunteers:
  • Set up a ‘marketplace’ information stand before the event
  • Introduce Penny Brohn UK, yourselves and say a few key words about the charity to give context.
  • Play the Penny Brohn UK video
  • Be available after this, during the break, to offer information about our services, give out relevant leaflets and chat with patients who are interested, including taking referrals if desired
  • Packing up marketplace at the end of the event
  1. Adjust, Adapt, Plan (AAP) – For patients with advanced cancer; this event is run by the Psychology team
  • Be available during the tea break and after the event to offer information about our services, give out relevant leaflets and chat with patients who are interested, including taking referrals if desired.

What will I be doing? 

In general the tasks involved will include:

  • Attending the session
  • Helping set up the stall(including collating material for the stall, ensuring written information is available, correct and up to date)
  • Brief introduction to the Penny Brohn UK DVD
  • Talking to people attending the event about the charity
  • Completing referral forms
  • Working cooperatively alongside the cancer support workers and BHOC staff
  • Taking down the stall and returning the resources to the National Centre (or keeping these safely at home)

What skills will I need?  

You will need to:

  • Be friendly, genuine and empathetic
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Understand the issues that can affect people with cancer and their supporters
  • Be confident talking about services at Penny Brohn UK
  • Work respectfully and cooperatively as a member of a wider team
  • Be happy to signpost to the hospital Cancer Information and Support Service
  • Be able to work without direct supervision
  • Be prepared to participate in training and information sessions
  • Have a genuine interest in and commitment to the work of Penny Brohn UK


  • It is helpful if you have some understanding of holistic health and wellbeing, however training is provided
  • An awareness of the NHS/NHS background would be an advantage
  • Happy to speak to large groups of people

How much time do I need to commit? 

There are various events throughout the year, ranging from 2-4 per month, usually on weekdays from 9-12, although some in the afternoon or a full day. Full timetable available for the year ahead.

Due to the training required we ask for a minimum commitment of six months, preferably a year.

What training and support can I expect? 

You will be given an induction to the Charity and information needed to fulfil your role. We have a thorough training programme. This will include training about cancer and it’s impacts, listening skills, and the Bristol Whole Life Approach. You will be invited to sit in on relevant courses run at the National Centre.

You will also need to attend the hospital induction programme which is 1.5 days.

Support will be given by your line manager at Penny Brohn UK and you will have a member of staff at BHOC as a point of contact.

What benefits can I expect? 

This is a rewarding role, making a difference to those who are living with the impact of a cancer diagnosis by helping to reach people where they are seeking support and spread the word about services that support people to live well with the impact of cancer.

It also provides an opportunity to attend interesting events and meet a wide range of people and be part of a wider team.

Travel and expenses are paid. There is a maximum allowance.

How do I apply? 

We can send or email an application form to you. This will be followed by a meeting and an informal interview.  You will also be asked to shadow one of these hospital events. A DBS (disclosure and barring service) check will be required.

Please contact the Volunteer Manager if you have any questions or would like further information.
Tel. 01275 370 094 or email

This role description is not exhaustive and will be reviewed from time to time by mutual agreement. 

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