Hospiscare needs your help and support

PUBLISHED: 09:45 25 August 2015

Care navigator Winnie Cameron with David Miller.

Care navigator Winnie Cameron with David Miller.

Archant

Last year Hospiscare looked after 2,200 patients living in Exeter, East and Mid Devon. A total of 126 Honiton people were cared for, with 88 of them being visited in their own homes by Hospiscare community specialist nurses.

End-of-life charity Hospiscare is appealing for more complementary therapists and bereavement supporters at its Honiton-based Kings House Day Hospice.

The organisation is also seeking more care navigators, an new volunteering role which sees carers visit people’s houses to offer one-to-one support and care.

“The nature of volunteering means that people come and go and currently we need to fill some gaps,” said Hospiscare’s Vicky Lachenicht, who manages more than 1,000 volunteers for Hospiscare.

“Please contact us for a chat – you would be joining a team of dedicated people, making a huge difference to people at the most difficult time of their lives.

“We’d love to hear from people who can help, we’re very flexible and can fit in with whatever time you have to offer. Your gift of time would be a huge help to our patients and families; it might just be a couple of hours to you, but to them it’s a lifeline. All our volunteers are really well trained, giving their time with a friendly face and a listening ear.”

Last year Hospiscare looked after 2,200 patients living in Exeter, East and Mid Devon. A total of 126 Honiton people were cared for, with 88 of them being visited in their own homes by Hospiscare community specialist nurses.

Nine local people were admitted to the hospice ward in Exeter.

Kings House has a specially equipped complementary therapy treatment room where many patients enjoy relaxing therapies. “We need more complementary therapists to help,” Vicky added. “Their skills offer people a “bit of me time.” We also give treatments to the patients’ carers as we recognise we need to look after them as well.

“Also, complementary therapies provide welcome relief and something to look forward to after a particularly gruelling treatment, such as chemotherapy.”

An newly-formed volunteering role which Hospiscare has introduced into the Honiton area also needs more volunteers.

So far, 10 volunteers have taken on the new role of a volunteer care navigator. One of them is Winnie Cameron, who visits David Miller at his Honiton home and provides companionship as well as offering emotional and practical support. They have enjoyed a number of visits to local attractions which David particularly enjoys.

Care navigators can introduce patients to a range of services, helping them to find the support that is right for them, but do not offer clinical care at any time. Hospiscare employs specialist nurses and doctors to provide high quality expert clinical care. Volunteer care navigators need to live within a 10 mile radius of Honiton.

Bereavement support is a vital Hospiscare service.

“There can be a sense of isolation for those left behind, sometimes patients have relocated to the area and don’t have any support, sometimes talking to a stranger is much easier,” Vicky added.

“Our bereavement supporters have time to listen which is really important and time to allow people to reflect.”

Hospiscare provides training, support, cover all costs, including travel expenses for all its volunteering roles. “Volunteering is a great way to enhance your skills, meet interesting people and can be rewarding and fulfilling. It’s also a terrific way to gain experience when looking for a job.”

If you’d like to find out more about helping Hospiscare contact Vicky on 01392 688068 or email Vicky.lachenicht@hospisare.co.uk

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