Please scroll down for a list of current training sessions. Send your volunteer training schedule to us at and we will include it on this page.

NHHPCO hosts an annual Hospice Volunteer Education Day. See below for more information.

Hospice Volunteers have been helping people in New Hampshire since the early 1980s. Often called 'the heart of hospice', volunteers are important members of any hospice team. Medicare requires all hospice care providers to offer trained volunteers to their patients and families.

What do Hospice Volunteers do?

  • Support for patients. This can include friendly visits, reading, writing letters, bringing in music, pet therapy visits, assisting with errands or medical appointments.
  • Provide respite and support for family members. This can include allowing family caregivers the opportunity to take care of necessary errands and get some time away from the house. Sometimes family members also appreciate a visit from a compassionate friend who understands what they are going through.
  • Bereavement support. Hospice volunteers can work closely with the hospice’s professional bereavement staff in duties that range from making bereavement calls, to assisting as a support group facilitator to serving refreshments at memorial gatherings and helping with mailings to clients and families.
  • Fund-raising and administrative work. A volunteer with clerical skills can serve a hospice by helping in the office with simple administrative duties. Fundraising responsibilities can range from preparing mailings or thank you letters to organizing fundraising events and contacting possible donors.

How do I become a Hospice Volunteer?

Contact your local hospice for more information. To ensure that all volunteers are equipped for the challenge of working with the dying, hospices require that volunteers complete extensive orientation and training sessions, as well as submit to a routine background check. It is important that you understand the philosophy of hospice care and that you get to know the staff and services offered by the hospice program in your community before visiting patients and families.

Current Training Opportunities:

Cornerstone Hospice has the following training opportunity:

Cornerstone Board Room, Rochester: Jan 11 – March 15 1-3pm

Dover Public Library: Jan 10 – March 14 1-3 pm

Both of these sessions are 8 weeks, we have 2 extra weeks scheduled for snow dates

Rollinsford Library March 20 – May 8 8 weeks 1-3pm

Strafford Library March 21 – May 9 8 weeks 11a-1pm

Volunteers offer comfort, support and a reassuring presence to Hospice patients and their famil members.

For more information contact Nancy Nicolazzo, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at Cornerstone VNA in Rochester, NH.
603-332-1133 ext.239
NNicolazzo AT

Volunteer Training in Portsmouth
For volunteers who wish to provide companionship, respite care and their unique skills for Hospice patients, their family members and caregivers.
Tuesdays Sept 12, 19, 26; Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Pet Peace of Mind
Become part of a cadre of volunteers who understand the important emotional and spiritual connection pets provide for people during their end of life journey. Volunteers assist patients and families with the care of their beloved pets at a time when they are least able to provide care for them.

Mondays Sept 11, 18, 25
Newmarket Library, NH

Thursdays Sept 14, 21, 28 from 1-4 p
South Berwick Library, Maine

Ongoing Training Opportunities:

Hospice at HCS Volunteer Training Sessions
Contact Lorraine Bishop, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at 603-532-8353 or

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice

Contact Martha Horton, Volunteer Coordinator at 569-2729 for all the specific dates, times, and general information.

VNA of Manchester and Southern NH
The free comprehensive training course will equip participants with the necessary skills to provide support to terminally ill individuals and their caregivers.

  • Hospice Philosophy
  • Compassion through Active Listening
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Medical and Legal Aspects
  • And Much More

Training will be held at VNA Hospice

1070 Holt Ave, Manchester, NH

Registration is required: Call 663-4008  


Home Health & Hospice Care Training Schedule
Contact: Tanya Prather,, 603-557-2806

A Day Just for Hospice Volunteers

Annual Hospice Volunteer Education Day 2016

NH Audubon in Concord was the perfect setting for the Hospice Volunteer Education Day on August 24th. With over 100 volunteers representing fourteen programs, this serene setting was very conducive to our topic "Sitting Vigil".

We enjoyed poetry read by hospice volunteer and author Pam MacPherson from her bookVigil. Thought provoking presentations were provided by Mary McInnis, Dr. Rob Spencer and Loretta Mangano. The program also included discussion groups and a panel presentation to explore options for providing this service effectively and to explore the impact of this work on us personally.

Many thanks to Deb Dumond, Lake Sunapee VNA/Hospice for sharing her amazing toolkit of Vigil readings and resources with the other Volunteer Managers; Tanya Prather, Home Health & Hospice Care for sharing her "picture boards" to enrich our discussion groups; Lorraine Bishop, Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services for providing a finger labyrinth to all volunteers to carry as a relaxation tool on vigil visits; and committee members Susan Jutras, Martha Horton and Denise Tarquinio for helping plan and host a meaningful event for all. A special thank you goes out to Bruce Mast & Associates for sponsoring this event.

Last year's event centered around understanding and coping with Alzheimer's/Dementia. Music therapy in many forms was a consistent topic throughout the day.

Just a few of the enthusiastic attendees you'll meet at our annual Hospice Volunteer Education Day.