Dining Companion

The purpose of the Dining Companion is to assist ward staff by offering support and positive encouragement to patients at meal times.


Dining Companions will be provided with specific training before they commence within the role. Once training has been undertaken the role the basic duties are as follows:

• Before the meals are service ensure that patients are comfortable and ready to eat i.e. offer hand wipes to clean their hands, establish if they need their table clearing ready for their meal to be served, establish if they need other items such as false teeth, hearing aid, glasses etc.

• Liaise with nursing staff as meals are served to ensure each patient's needs in relation to their diet and fluids, and the way they eat is understood. In particular be aware of:

o Patients at risk of malnutrition

o Patients that are Nil by Mouth

o Patients that may have swallowing problems

o Patients on fluids only

o Patients on a puree diet

• Positively encourage patients (as identified to you) to eat and drink.

• Assist with patients dignity, for example this may be by wiping the patients face, with their permission, or ensuring they have a suitably placed napkin.

• Ensure all food and drink is within easy range of each patient.

• Alert nursing staff as soon as possible to any patient who does not want to eat or unhappy with their meal, as an alternative option may be available to them.

• Remove crockery and cutlery after the meal from the patient's bedside area and ensure the area is kept clean and tidy. If a tray need to be checked by a nurse before removal, ensure that this does take place.

• Refresh patient water jugs as necessary, after checking with nursing staff.

• Provide company to the patient during meal times.

• At the end of the meal report back to the nursing staff about the amount of food and drink that has been consumed by the patients you have observed. This may include completing specific documentation for each patient.

• Please note - it is not the role of the Dining Companion to feed patients.


Essential Skills:

- Willingness to undertake on-the-job training in the role as a Dining Companion

- Ability to communicate with a wide range of people

- Able to work effectively as part of a team

- Ability to work on own initiative

- Friendly personality

- Caring nature

- Reliable

- Self motivated

- Positive outlook

Desirable but not Essential:

- Experience of working with the public/customers

- Experience of working in a care environment

- Experience of dealing with confidential information

- Basic IT skills

Volunteers with Provide can access and update their IT skills through a series of workshops:


Word - beginners, intermediate and advanced

Excel - beginners, intermediate and advanced

Dementia Level 2 training is also available.


  • Accessibility
  • DBS check required
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Suitable for under 18s
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 11/01/2017

End Date: 11/01/2020

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning No No No No No No No
Afternoon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

Flexible days around ward lunch times.


This opportunity is available in: Braintree, Maldon

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