Volunteering in the Community
Eric is 86 years old and lives alone. Community volunteer, Sue, visits Eric each week and she takes him out to the supermarket to pick up some shopping and then they enjoy a cuppa together in the café. Eric recently had to give up driving, and he sees Sue as a lifeline. When they are together, you can see they have formed a very close bond. They share stories and enjoy lots of laughter too.
The role of a community volunteer is tailored to suit the individual patient’s needs. This may include just spending time chatting over a cup of tea or coffee, sitting with someone whilst their carer goes out for a while. It may also include going out shopping, a visit to a bird sanctuary, coffee at Wentworth or Christmas shopping at Parkgate!
Visits can last from 30minutes up to 4 hours – it depends what the patient and volunteer decide they want to do. As the volunteer visits the same patient each week, a rapport is quickly built between them and this is very beneficial and supportive. If the patient, for whatever reason, wants to stop the visits then that is okay too. Community volunteers are there as a companion for the patient and support for the family.
All the community volunteers go through the Hospice’s volunteer selection procedures as well as attending all the necessary training. They are supported by Hospice clinical staff and are able to feedback any concerns they may have. If you want to get involved supporting local people in your area please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Tracey Harrison-Marr 01709 308913 for an application form.