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Do you have what it takes to be a volunteer?

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Do you have what it takes to be a volunteer?

Could you lend a friendly ear to someone when they need it most? If the answer is yes, then we need you to volunteer!

Our volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring the organisation can continue to help those in West Suffolk and Thetford in the final chapters of their life.

Currently we needs people willing to help out their Family Support Service as both Bereavement Volunteers and Family Support Advisor’s.

Our Family Support Service provides emotional support to people living with long term or life-threatening illness and people experiencing loss and bereavement.

A volunteer open evening will be taking place later this month, which will be the perfect opportunity to learn more, ask any questions and pick up an application form.

Dawn Rourke the Family Support Team’s – Bereavement Coordinator for adults, said: “You don’t need any formal qualifications to join the Hospice as a volunteer, what you do need is life experience, the ability to listen, to be a friendly ear, and you need to have an interest in people.

“We really need volunteers who are reliable, committed and contactable. You don’t need to be a counsellor as we give all of our volunteers all the training they need as well as regular information workshops (once every two weeks) and group supervision ad peer support sessions (again once every two weeks).”

The support provided by Bereavement Volunteers and Family Support Advisors is open ended, there is no set time limit on how long you will be supporting someone, neither is it set in stone the type of support you will be providing.

The volunteer’s role is ever changing although the ability to be able to build supportive relationships is key, as is the ability to provide support to someone though loss.

Almost everyone has experienced loss and have experiences they can draw from to help others. This doesn't have to be loss in terms of a bereavement, it could be the loss of a job, it is all life experience.

Dawn Rourke the Family Support Team’s - Bereavement Coordinator for adults

Volunteers can provide support for patients attending the on the Hospice’s ward, Orchard Centre, Burton Centre, in Haverhill or out in the community.

Dawn said: “The need we have in the community is great. We have a community with complex needs, which means we need to focus our work towards supporting our community.

“Our volunteers are vital, they go out into the community and support people where, and how they need it.”

Volunteers are also being sought for the Hospice’s Nicky’s Way programme.

Nicky’s Way is open to any child or young person who has been bereaved and lives in West Suffolk or Thetford.

It gives children and young people the opportunity to meet others in the same situation, and if they want to talk about it they can.

Once trained volunteers can run the groups, and help them take part in activities.

When and where?

The volunteer open evening will take place on Wednesday 20 July, from 6.30pm at St Nicholas Hospice Care, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2QY.

The next volunteer training course will start on Wednesday 21 September; it will run for six weeks finishing on the weekend of October 29/30.

If you would like further information on the open evening or on the training course please contact Jennie Unitt on 01284 715572 or email jennie.unitt@stnh.org.uk.