Volunteering is firmly embedded in the culture of hospice and palliative care. Volunteers are considered an integral part of the end of life team because of their role in providing a connection to an individual’s community. As well as enhancing the social, emotional and spiritual dimension of the end of life experience within the health service provision, volunteers can normalise death, dying and bereavement, help to mobilise local support networks and develop a community’s overall resilience in supporting each other at this time.
Dying, death, grief and loss are inseparable to our community experience. Engaging and training volunteers is a direct expression that our community cares enough to learn how to walk alongside and support people through these difficult times and conversations.
This is the basis of our philosophy and approach in supporting the development of a ‘compassionate community’ where citizens are encouraged to be knowledgeable and informed about death, dying, loss and care and adapt their practices and behaviours to meet needs that they encounter in their everyday lives.