Make a difference as a St Barnabas House Community Companion

Philip and John play bowls
Philip and John play bowls

St Barnabas House Community Companions are volunteers who provide social and practical support to the hospice’s patients and their carers, and we are looking for more volunteers to join our friendly team.

The Companions may visit a patient at home to relieve isolation or boredom by providing friendship and support, or they may sit with them enabling their carer to do something else.

Some Companions take their patients out for visits to the shops or garden centres. The visits are usually for a couple of hours on a weekly basis. The scheme is co-ordinated by the Voluntary Services Team at St Barnabas and works alongside the staff providing clinical care.

Philip is a Community Companion to John, and enjoys his visits to see him.

Philip said: “We usually go and play bowls on a Friday or we just go out for a coffee and a chat.”

Community Companions can really make a difference to both the patient and to the carers too, allowing them much-needed time for themselves.

To anyone thinking of becoming a Community Companion, Philip says, “You need to be patient and a good listener, but the role can be satisfying and rewarding too.”

Community Companions come from various age groups and all walks of life. St Barnabas House is looking for more volunteers to join this successful scheme and help others in the community. All the hospice asks is that you have two to three hours a week free, access to a car and like meeting people. It will give participants full training and support and our next training sessions are in September.

The scheme has been running for over three years and our Community Companions have so far provided over 7,000 hours of support to patients and carers.

If you’d like to know more about becoming a Community Companion for St Barnabas, please call our Voluntary Services Team on 01903 706360 or email volunteers@stbh.org.uk.

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