A call for volunteers to support Compassionate Communities initiative

Would you like to help someone in your community? Do you have a listening ear and time to give to someone in need? Volunteers are being sought across Coventry and Warwickshire as part of a new initiative to offer extra support to terminally ill people who are approaching the end of their life, and to their relatives to help with their bereavement.

The Compassionate Communities programme is being led by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) in partnership with the Palliative Care Service at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. They are looking for volunteers who are caring, compassionate and who want to help. No specialist skills are required, just the time to listen and give support to someone out in the community who may need them.

Nina Fraser, Chief Nursing Officer at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said:

“This initiative is hugely important as it is about reaching out and showing compassion to people when they are at their most vulnerable. It’s about being an emotional support at a point in people’s lives when they’re either preparing to die or when their loved ones have died.”

Simon Betteridge, Lead Chaplain and Bereavement Service Manager at UHCW, added:

“There are three stages where we are looking for volunteers to provide support. Firstly, to people who know they have a life-threatening condition but are at home and they, or their family, need some support to carry on doing the things that are important to them. That might be helping them in their garden or with their shopping or to just be there to talk to.

“The second stage might be when someone is approaching the last days of their life. They’re still ok to be at home but either they or they family need some extra support to give them the confidence to be at home during that experience.

“The third stage is to support a family who has been bereaved, potentially an elderly person who is on their own and would like someone to talk to while they come to terms with their loss.”

All volunteers will receive training before being matched with a patient or family. Ongoing support will also be provided by the UHCW and the Palliative Care Service at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

To apply to become a volunteer, or to for more information about volunteering for the Compassionate Communities initiative, and, please email volunteers@uhcw.nhs.uk or telephone 024 7696 5147.

The closing date for volunteer applications is September 13, 2017.

Informal discussions will take place between 18 and 20, September, 2017.