Volunteer End of Life Companion
This service in our Hospice Inpatient Unit is made up of a team of volunteers who provide a companion presence for someone who is dying and does not have family or friends available to visit. In some cases, the service will provide uninterrupted companionship. Your presence will provide company, dignity and peace in the person’s last few days and hours of life. The role requires volunteers to be fully engaged both physically (physical contact), emotionally & psychologically.
Where: Martlets Hospice, Wayfield Avenue, Hove BN3 7LW
When: Initially the service had been set up for the occasional patient. It was developed to provide companionship in various situations: a volunteer may be needed to sit with a patient who needs company in the early mornings; another patient may need a few volunteers to ‘fill in’ until family arrive from great distances or a handful of volunteers may be needed to provide continuous companionship for someone who is dying alone. Volunteers will agree their availability with the Service Coordinator in advance and will be notified shortly before the team is required.
Usual time involvement: The usual time involvement varies from a single period of 2-4 hours to a rolling shift of 3 hours in a 24 hour period. Volunteers will be asked to participate in a two-hour supervision within one week following the patient’s death.
What you’ll be doing: To provide companionship to a hospice or community based patient (nursing home). Making use, where appropriate, of music, spiritual exercises, complementary therapies, mindfulness and compassion-in-action techniques. The role is not a clinical/nursing/personal care role.
What’s in it for you:
Introductory training over four sessions for shortlisted candidates will cover:
- Developing knowledge of palliative care
- Exploring cultural understandings of dying
- Mindfulness practices
- Spiritual exercises
- Compassion in action techniques
- Complementary therapy techniques
Whilst actively volunteering:
- Reflective supervision following a death
- Opportunities for personal growth
- Support and supervision in your role
- Reasonable out of pocket expenses
- Access to organizational resources
Your skills and abilities:
- Genuine interest in hospice, End-of-Life care
- Experience or/training in hospice or related areas
- Experience of self-reflection
- Excellent ability to communicate clearly
- Developed sense of empathy
- Developed sense of personal boundaries, self-awareness, resilience
- Awareness of the impact of bereavement
- Experience of working with vulnerable persons
- Willingness to be flexible and respond at short notice
Requirements for this role:
- Volunteers must be over 18
- Due to the nature of this role, selection will involve an informal interview and then successful candidates being invited to introductory training over five sessions before the final selection is made.
- You will need to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check
- Volunteers will need to attend our welcome Day and complete other relevant role specific training