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Hospice Neighbour volunteers

Hospice Neighbours is a community-based and volunteer-led service that provides practical support and companionship to people and their families living with life-shortening conditions.

How can Hospice Neighbours help?

Hospice Neighbours get involved with a variety of things. This can include picking up prescriptions, taking the dog for a walk, light shopping and gardening or simply providing company to a patient or their carer. The work is directed by what the person needs, rather than prescribing a particular way of doing things.

When you are living with dying the world doesn’t stop, and all the little – but important – household tasks still need doing. In response to this need, the service provides an extra pair of helping hands to support patients and carers.

Hospice Neighbours is a fantastic way of helping to connect communities and reverting back to neighbours helping neighbours, which we believe not only helps people when they need it most but makes the world a nicer place to live in.

For the last several years Trevor Byford has been volunteering for St Nicholas Hospice Care as a Hospice Neighbour, giving his time to support Pam.

Hospice Neighbours relies on its team of volunteers to make a real difference to people across the community. The role is a varied one, you can offer practical support, be a listening ear and you can also provide much-needed support for family and carers. Your volunteer hours can give them back some time for them.

“If you’re thinking of volunteering, I’d say go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose,” says Trevor, and in return, you get the satisfaction that you’re helping someone, “It does them good and it does me good,” adds Trevor

Frequently asked questions

Who are Hospice Neighbours?

Hospice Neighbours are people like you. They are people who want to volunteer on a flexible basis and contribute in a positive way to their own community. Neighbours can be any age 18 or over, from any background or gender.

Good neighbours will have the ability to listen, the personal warmth to gain rapport with people from different backgrounds and a practical common sense approach.

We also welcome applications from volunteers who are able to offer specialist skills such as hairdressing or complimentary therapies so we can offer services in the community as well as the Hospice.

All volunteers will be able to claim for any travel and other small expenses.

Please note that volunteers will not be asked to do anything medical or relating to personal hygiene.

What will it involve?

Your initial training will take place over one sessions in which you will learn how to be safe, confident and comfortable in your role.

After your training you will be matched to a patient in your local area. Depending upon their situation, you will support them through their journey.

Please be aware that being a Neighbour may not always be immediate or ongoing as the service responds to the need within the community.

How and when you visit as a Neighbour will be up to you, agreeing the date and time of your next visit direct with the patient. This can be a set time if convenient but can also change so that your volunteering can fit in with other commitments. The frequency of visit can vary from a few times a week to once a month and you will be matched accordingly based on the time that you are able to give.

How do I apply to become a volunteer?

To find out more you can contact our Hospice Neighbours Team directly on 01284 719638. Alternatively, please fill in and submit an enquiry form here or telephone our HR department on 01284 766418.

How quickly can I start to Volunteer?

This depends on the pre-recruitment checklist that we have to undertake such as references and DBS (Disclosure and Barring service) check*

* Dependant on role

How much time do I need to give?

It could be as little as an hour or two. It really is down to you how much you want to be involved.

I am 15 years old. Can I still volunteer with you?

Unfortunately not. To ensure the health and safety of volunteers and given the potential for exposure to extremely sensitive issues the Hospice has a lower age limit of 16 (or 18 for for Sylvan Ward and Hospice Neighbours). We do not normally permit individuals of 15 or under to volunteer within the Hospice. However, we would seek to enable young groups or individuals to support the Hospice in other ways.

Do you provide internships?

This varies greatly at different times. Please contact us to discuss this further.