Volunteers are involved in almost every aspect at Iris House.

Iris House Children’s Hospice – volunteers 

In order to fully realise our mission  to provide holistic, loving, professional, free community and Hospice based respite, overnight and  end of life care for special needs children with life threatening illness and or life limiting conditions in the Western Cape, we need the help and support of volunteers.

Our volunteer programme is not just a programme, but a family. As our organisation grows, so too does our family. Volunteers who join the Iris House family will have the opportunity to occupy many roles within our operation, and vital to our success. Joining the Iris House Volunteer Programme goes far beyond just giving some of your time for a good cause, it seeks to connect, inspire, develop, and build lasting friendships. Ours is a diverse family of young and old, from different backgrounds and all spheres of life.

Understanding the nature and sensitivity of our work, all our volunteers are required to possess name clearance from SAPS and in the case of our Care Team Volunteers a Police Clearance must be presented. These documents are to be forwarded along with your Volunteer Application Form.

The Iris House Children’s Hospice Volunteer Programme is a multi faceted programme that is separated into  12 different focus areas, each with different tasks to support operational goals.

The 12 different focus areas include:

  • Equine Therapy Programme
  • Youth and Young Adult Programme
  • Arts, Crafts and all things Creative Programme
  • Online Hospice Shop
  • Catering and Housekeeping Programme
  • International Volunteer Programme
  • Fundraising and Events
  • Maintenance
  • Driving
  • Gardening Programme
  • Care Team Volunteer Programme
  • Reception Area Volunteer


Equine Therapy Programme

We are currently developing our Equine Therapy Programme. Currently our hospice is open for respite care sessions three days per week and our horses provide equine therapy on two of these days under our equine trainer Alan’s supervision. Most  of our children are nonverbal, but this is not a barrier for our horses. They readily engage in “conversation” with our children resulting a bounty of magical moments as the children interact at their own pace with the horses. In order to continue and grow this programme, we need skilled individuals who have experience with horses or animals.


Youth and Young Adult Programme

Our Youth and Young Adult Programme is an exciting aspect of our volunteer programme and includes many different focus areas.

The Youth and Young Adult Volunteer Programme includes the opportunity for our young adult volunteers to interact and play with children over weekends and to shadow and assist our carers.

We are also hope that individuals who  join this programme can befriend and support  our young adults who have life-limited and  life-shortening conditions, these volunteers will serve as buddies and will forge positive relationships with our young adults.

This programme also accommodates the many secondary and tertiary students are expected to complete community service. Depending on our needs, the student’s time and commitment might be used in a variety of ways such as gardening, maintenance, horse grooming, etc.


Arts, Crafts and all things Creative Programme

Our Arts, crafts and all things creative  programmes are valuable as they teach our children new practical skills such as needlework, arts and crafts, baking, etc. Volunteers hoping to join this programme should be creative and dedicated, and will be used to support existing programmes and assist in the initiation of new creative projects at Iris House.

Online Hospice Shop Volunteer

This volunteer will help us with our online Hospice Shop once a  week or more, and will be responsible for choosing  items, photographing them, uploading them onto Hospice Shop, deal with queries that arise, speak to customers, package the items and send them on their way. This Volunteer must have some general computer knowledge, admin experience and be able to use email.

Catering and Housekeeping Team Volunteer.

This role puts you in the centre of hospice life, supporting an aspect of our work which is maintaining a clean and healthy environment, and feeding our children who visit our hospice. Volunteers who join this team will prepare food at our hospice a few times a week using fresh produce from our Urban Harvest garden, for our hospice sessions as well as for our families.

International Volunteer Programme

We welcome international volunteers whose skills could benefit any one of our operational needs. International Volunteers are welcome to join and assist in any of our focus areas, and are subject to a selection process.

Fundraising and Events

Fundraising is critically important to continuing and growing our work. if you can put up a gazebo, sell merchandise or spin a tombola,  then we need your helping hands at the many events and shows that we attend throughout the year. We are also open to hearing your ideas and suggestions for fundraising. If you have any bright ideas, contact ashley@iris-house.org.


At Iris House, we are always in need of skilled artisans, electricians, plumbers, and handymen/handywomen to maintain the quality and safety standards of our property. We will rely on volunteers in this team to help whenever needed, and have tasks that vary in size and require various levels of skill.


Our Hospice is always in need of volunteer drivers and. Individuals interested in joining this team will help support our Driver, and  will be required to present a valid driver’s license and other certification as deemed necessary. This is a great opportunity for people that enjoy driving, getting out and about and can spare a few hours a week to undertake collections and deliveries of donated goods in a timely and safe manner.

Gardening Programme

So as to keep our hospice green and beautiful, we are always in need of individuals with green fingers. Whether you’re a horticulturist or you just love gardening, this team would be the perfect fit for you. Volunteers on this team will be responsible for the beautification, planting and upkeep of the garden and flowers at our hospice property.

Care Team Volunteer Programme

Care Team  volunteers are mostly hospice and community-based and interact with children and parents through various activities. This programme runs mostly during the week and volunteers need to be available during this time. Understanding the sensitivity of our work, individuals who would like to join this team are subject to an intensive selection, training, orientation and supervision process and recruitment are done on a needs basis.

Reception Area Volunteer

Volunteer receptionists will be responsible for operating our switchboard, welcoming our visitors, and help with some admin.  This team requires volunteers to dedicate a set amount of time each week.

For any additional information about our Volunteer Programme contact

Download our Volunteer application form




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