Our organization would not exist without the thousands of hours our dedicated team of volunteers contributes to Hospice each year. They freely share their time and many skills and talents to keep our programs operating and each year, serve a greater number of Colchester and East Hants families.
There are many different roles volunteers can have in our organization.
- Client & Family Support (Hospital and Community Visitors)
- Angels Tree Remembered, Support Group Facilitators
- Awareness and Education activities (HUGS for Hospice, Annual Conference)
- Fundraising activities (You’ll Die Laughing, Hike for Hospice, Death Expo)
- Board of Directors & Committee Work
What can Hospice Volunteers do?
Our volunteers are here to support you and your loved ones! Whether they are in the Palliative Care Unit at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre visiting patients or baking in the Palliative Care kitchen, volunteers provide support for our community where it is needed most.
Hospice volunteers are trained to be supportive, open and non-judgmental listeners. Their goal is to support you and your family with whatever activities might be important to you.
Palliative Care Bakers – This team of wonderful bakers, provide fresh baked goods baked right in the kitchen of the Palliative Care Unit. The added benefit for fresh baking is the wonderful smells that permeate the halls and rooms of patients, providing a wonderful memory of home cooking.
Volunteers can provide a friendly visit on a regular basis. This can happen in the Palliative Care Unit of the Hospital, in a Long-Term Care Facility, or in the patient’s home.
Palliative Care Unit Visitors – drop in to patient rooms during the day to provide a friendly visit and some fresh baked goods made by our bakers when available.
In Home and Long-Term Care Visitors – These compassionate volunteers, in partnership with the NAV Care Program, visit patients at home who are being monitored by the Community Palliative Care Team, or who are residing in a Long-Term Care Facility. Visitors can provide companionship, and much needed respite for family who are supporting their loved one at home.
Each person who is living at home and wishes to have a volunteer visitor will be matched with a single volunteer or a team of volunteers based on their particular needs.
What can the volunteers do on their visits?
- Help you write letters or keep a journal
- Arrange to contact loved ones through Skype, email or Facebook
- Join you for some fresh air and sunshine
- Read with you or bring in special books/ magazines for you
- Share in your favourite craft projects
- Help you to document your life adventures or special memories
- Sit with you while your loved ones take a few hours to recharge
- Provide an opportunity to share fears, worries and issues of importance with someone outside the immediate family
- Share in activities that are enjoyable for you, such as playing cards or sharing stories
- OR if you are not feeling up to an activity a volunteer can just sit with you, maybe hold your hand so you don’t feel alone.
All volunteers with the Hospice Society go through a detailed screening and training process to ensure they meet expectations for their role including client safety and confidentiality.
Training & Education
Each potential volunteer is interviewed and screened to ensure our organization can meet their expectations in volunteering and to preserve client safety. Once an application is accepted, every volunteer receives orientation and training at the level appropriate for their volunteer roles. Volunteers who think they may like to provide client support complete 25-30 hours of training. For volunteers who choose to be involved in other ways, less training time is required.