Community Support Volunteer
Would you like to visit and support patients and families in your local community?
Why we need your help
Patients and their families find that coping with the practicalities, feelings and questions which arise when thinking about death and dying is challenging. Patients often feel cut off and isolated and need company and someone outside their family to talk to. Families also need a break from their loved one and time to carry out the small practical things in life.
As a Community Support Volunteer you will visit patients in their own home to provide social interaction and a friendly face. You will be a listening ear for the patient and their family alike. You may sit with the patient while their family takes a break or you may accompany the patient to an appointment or for a short outing to the shops or pub/café. You will not be asked to provide personal care or carry out housework but you might prepare drinks or snacks and help with small jobs such as sorting paperwork.
What time should you offer?
- You will be asked to attend our Patient and Family Support training course so ideally we would like you to stay for a year after that.
- This is a very flexible role but we normally ask that you would visit your patient once a week and give up to 3 hours per week.
What activities will you be involved in as part of this volunteer role?
- Providing company and a listening ear for the patient and their family
- Keep the patient company while family members take a break or get on with their own tasks
- Help with small tasks such as sorting paperwork, or preparing drinks and snacks
- Accompany the patient on an outing to a local café or to the hospital for an appointment
- You will not be involved in toileting or personal care
Where will you be based?
- This is a community based role across the five boroughs supported by St Christopher’s but you will be matched with someone who lives locally to you or who is accessible for you to visit easily, depending on your circumstances.
- You will also be asked to attend support meetings at the hospice and to call in from time to time to speak to The Volunteer Team so that you feel supported and part of the volunteer workforce at the hospice.
- Initial training will take place at St Christopher’s 51-59 Lawrie Park Road, Sydenham SE26 6DZ
What you can gain from volunteering in this role
- Join an enthusiastic team of people and get more involved in your local community
- Use and develop your skills, enhancing your CV
- Increasing your understanding of health and social care and hospices
- Know you are helping dying people in your local community have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it
Training and support provided
- You will be asked to attend our Patient Support training course
- We will ask you to attend 6 support groups per year
- Ongoing training in other areas such as Motor Neurone Disease and hand massage will be offered throughout the year
- To know that you can contact The Volunteers Team for support or with questions at any time during working hours
What we are looking for
- Good listener and clear communicator
- Approachable and friendly person who is able to get on well with people of different backgrounds
- Emotional resilience in the face of the difficult circumstances that can affect people at the end of life
- Be reliable and flexible
- Ability to respect others differences and choices
- Good attention to detail
- Ability to follow the Lone Worker Policy and to complete written reports as required after each visit
- Ability to follow our policies and procedures to keep you, our staff, our patients and our customers safe
- Ability to represent St Christopher’s and our values positivity.
Anything else you need to know
- There is a short settling in period to see if the role is right for you
- You must be 18 years old or over to do this role
- The volunteer role will be agreed with you following successful completion of an interview, mandatory training, receipt of two references and a DBS check.
- If you have recently had a bereavement we do recommend waiting for around 12 months before joining us as a Community Support Volunteer. We recognise everyone is different so if you are keen to volunteer in this type of role, but have had a bereavement less than 12 months ago, contact the volunteering team on 020 8768 4669 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Please download the files below
Download Community Support Volunteer role description (docx)
Download volunteer application form (docx)