Give something back and gain so much as a St Barnabas volunteer

Rita and Arthur, Community Companion SUS-141128-161653001
Rita and Arthur, Community Companion SUS-141128-161653001
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Did you know patients are never charged for their care at St Barnabas House and the government funds less than 25% of our running costs?

We therefore rely heavily on the generosity of the local community and volunteers.

By becoming a volunteer you can learn new skills, brush up on your existing ones and be welcomed as part of our team.

We aim to make your volunteering experience a valuable and rewarding one, because our volunteers really are the life-blood of our organisation in so many ways.

There are a wide variety of roles that you can get involved with. Read on to find out about some roles we have a particular need for:

Is tinkering with cars is your thing? As a Fleet Maintenance Volunteer, you will help keep our minibuses and cars in pristine condition and assist with all the regular safety checks. Our Fleet Maintenance Officer, Shaun Dicker, is looking for volunteers to help him on a regular basis for around four hours per shift.

He said: “This is a highly valuable role as our transport fleet provides vital support to our patients, enabling them to travel to and from the hospice, and to our clinical teams caring for patients in their own homes.”

Do you have a listening ear? Our Bereavement Volunteers offer support to bereaved family and friends of patients who have received care at St Barnabas House. Listening to people and being able to empathise with them is an important skill.

Rosemary Gillard is one of our Bereavement Visitor volunteers.

She said: “After suffering loss of loved ones in my life, I approached St Barnabas to offer my help and was trained as a bereavement visitor.

“The training was enjoyable and thought provoking. Now my volunteering role is underway, I get a great amount of satisfaction knowing I can be of help to someone who is struggling with loss. I meet clients mostly at home, or sometimes at the hospice, and I thoroughly enjoy it.”

Interviews for the Bereavement Visitor volunteer role will be taking place on Wednesday December 10.

For successful applicants there will be a 12 week Loss and Bereavement Course which will be delivered on Thursday mornings from 9.30am to 1pm, from 22 January 2015 to 2 April 2015 inclusive.

Please contact us for more information on 01903 706315

If you’re looking for more of a hands-on and flexible role, we need volunteers to work on an ad-hoc basis to help cover our reception and coffee shop during bank holidays, and for volunteer holiday and sickness cover.

One of our fantastic bank volunteers is Doreen Dunning. She said: “I have great respect for the wonderful work St Barnabas House does in the community. I really feel as a volunteer that I’m part of a special team. I also enjoy the variety of helping out in various departments when they are short staffed.”

If having direct contact with patients and their carers in their own homes appeals, then becoming a Community Companion is a special role that may suit you.

Isolation is a big issue for many people coping with life-limiting illnesses and their carers. You will be helping people at a very difficult time in their lives by providing social and practical support during a weekly two hour visit.

For this role we have two mandatory training days.

Community Companion, Rita Fellows, a 75 year old grandmother from Rustington, has been visiting Mr Arthur Shaw, 88 from East Preston since December 2013.

Rita said: “I absolutely love being Arthur’s Community Companion. He normally just wants to sit and chat during my visits, which we both look forward to. He is a wonderful person and has remained very positive during his illnesses and personal challenges.

“His courage touches everyone he meets. We get on so well and have a lot of laughter and I have heard his life story. I have received full training and am really well supported by the team at St Barnabas House.

“I would highly recommend this role to anyone who is looking for a really rewarding volunteering opportunity and can spare just two or three hours per week.”

A variety of days and times are available for the above roles to suit you.

If you’d like to find out more and take the next step, please call Voluntary Services on 01903 706315 or email volunteers@stbh.org.uk so that we can send you an application pack.

To find out more about volunteering in other areas, please visit www.stbh.org.uk/volunteering or call us, we’d love to hear from you if you’d like to help in any way.

Report and pictures contributed by St Barnabas House.