Volunteer General Information
“Before I met my first client I was very nervous. Even though I had just completed the 10-week hospice volunteer training course I wasn’t sure that I was ready to actually work with someone who was dying. Now, three weeks after John died, I feel honored to have been able to spend time with him and Nancy. The more time I spent with John and Nancy the more I felt that I was the one receiving a special gift. During last week John didn’t talk at all but would open his eyes then smile when he saw me. I wasn’t there when he died, but Nancy said he looked up at her, smiled then closed his eyes for the last time.” G.K., Nelson volunteer
Many on our team say that volunteering with hospice has been one of the most meaningful experiences they have ever had.
Who are the hospice volunteers and what do they do?
Volunteers are members of our community who have received 30 hours of basic training, are supervised by the hospice co-ordinator, and are sensitive to personal, cultural, and religious values, beliefs and practices. They can provide:
- Help with practical, day-to-day needs like shopping, appointments and outings.
- Respite care, to give at-home caregivers a break.
- Sympathetic listeners who can talk about and hear about dying.
- Support to help access information needed on end-of-life issues.
- Ongoing bereavement support after the death of a loved one .
As a volunteer you are invited into one of the most intimate and significant times of the people with whom we work. By providing respite for the caregiver, being good company, listening, and being there with your entire being you demonstrate the compassionate care and support that is the foundation of hospice care.
As well as the initial training which is held annually, we provide opportunities for ongoing monthly volunteer education as well as support throughout the volunteer/client relationship. The amount of time volunteers are asked to commit depends on client needs. If a client needs additional support, we will place additional volunteers.
For people who are interested in supporting our organization in other ways, volunteers take part in fund raising activities and special events, helping with office tasks, and serving on the Board of Directors or other working groups. If you are interested in this kind of volunteering, please contact us by phone or by email or fill out the Volunteer Application Form.
Volunteers really are the heart and soul of hospice and bring to this service the esssence of community through their love and caring. On this page, we will profile our volunteers to give you a glimpse into the richness and diversity of the people who volunteer with Hospice. All of our volunteers are valued for their incredible contributions to individuals, families and our community and we hope, over time to honour each one here.