Mercy Health Albury is on the lookout to recruit some very special volunteers.
Mercy Health palliative care professionals will conduct interviews this month to find some new volunteer support workers.
Palliative care is a holistic support service available to families and their loved ones who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, who in many cases are nearing the end of their lives.
Support/Volunteer Co-ordinator Louisa Thompson says at such times people are confronted with many unexpected experiences and feelings, including fear of what lies ahead, so it’s important to have appropriate support and information available to make the illness and experience less threatening.
Louisa says palliative care aims to empower people with information and education, which will enable them to decide the supports that best suit their individual and unique situation.
“We find our volunteers come from all walks of life.
“They can be male or female, they are young, middle or mature aged, and have a range of paid and unpaid working backgrounds,” Louisa said.
In her experience, Louisa said she’d found the most successful volunteers were those who had confronted a ‘life changing’ or serious issue in their own life. Generally they are older but we certainly don’t exclude the opportunity to speak with younger people.
“We are aware, for instance, of some young people at other facilities who have demonstrated excellent talents and compassion in this field,” she added.
The volunteers’ support includes physical, social, emotional and spiritual care, together with a team of professional care workers.
Louisa says volunteers play an integral part in this care role because of their life and learned skills.
“They are able to offer such attributes as friendship, companionship, respite and time, which today can be a rare commodity,” she said. “We recruit our volunteers based on their warmth and understanding, emotional maturity, their acceptance of others and, importantly, the ability to respect confidentiality,” she said.
Louisa said the volunteers are as unique as the people they are matched to support, making each placement special.
Mercy Health Albury will conduct interviews towards the end of this month and the successful applicants will then participate in a six-day training programme, which will commence at the end of March.
If you think you have the necessary characteristics, email Louisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last reviewed March 5, 2019.