Being a palliative care volunteer is a very special role. Volunteers spend time with people who are nearing the end of their lives and experiencing a wide range of changes and emotions.
Volunteers support the emotional and practical needs of clients, carers, families and friends. Some volunteers support clients at home while others work as part of a team in hospital settings such as palliative care units and hospices.
Volunteers are exposed to many different outlooks, values and cultural practices. This makes it a rewarding and sometimes challenging experience. Many volunteers say they learn a lot about themselves through the act of caring for others.
Volunteers have access to ongoing education and training, and are closely supported and supervised in their roles.
“Becoming a hospice volunteer has been one of the best things I have ever done. I have learnt so much about people and myself. The support we receive is fantastic too.”
After initial training of approximately 40 hours, volunteers are required to commit approximately five hours per week to volunteering. This includes time spent with clients and education and support sessions.
It is important to know that all volunteer applicants undergo an interview before being accepted to train with us. Our training is based on building self-awareness to become effective support-givers.
As with any workplace there are rules and procedures which volunteers learn about and are required to abide by. If client work is not for you, there are other ways to get involved such as helping with fundraising and other activities which enhance our support to the community.