In Taiwan, volunteers of each Community Health Promotion Development Centres help to diffuse healthy lifestyle education and complement the paid workforce, especially community nurses. An interpretive, descriptive qualitative design, using focus groups, was conducted to explore the burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan. The data were analyzed inductively, and emergent themes were explored. The majority of participants were female between 50 and 59 years old with an average of 4.5 years experience as a volunteer. Thematic analysis resulted in four themes: preparation and scope of practice, lack of support for the role, work overload and expectations of the role. Volunteers in Taiwan do not always have the necessary skills to care for their clientele because of an inadequate programme of orientation, lack of continuing education and support for the role, role overload and expectations placed upon them by the clients and others.