Call out for hospice helpers

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on December 2, 2017

VALUABLE volunteer efforts are desperately needed for the functioning of Albany Community Hospice to continue running smoothly.

The hospice has provided palliative care for the Great Southern community for more than 20 years and requires more volunteers to donate their time to help care for those who are no longer able look after themselves.

Hospice manager Michelle McClure explained the different types of volunteer work available and how sometimes it is the small things which aid a hospice guest’s wellness.

“We look to see how we can utilise the skills people have, and how that can help,” she said.

“There’s a few different roles here; there’s being a support person, a meet and greet volunteer, cooks and gardeners.

“A support volunteer makes the little touches, which really makes a difference to the patient and family.”

Meet and greet volunteers primarily focus on the administration side of things at the hospice, including showing new families around the facilities and helping with the ‘behind the scenes’ efforts.

Volunteer gardeners help maintain the neat grounds of the hospice, and the cooks allow the hospice to have their own source of food.

“We used to have meals from the hospital, but now we do our own,” Ms McClure said.

“This lets us have more flexible food times, so if someone wants their lunch at 2pm instead of 12, or wants ice-cream for breakfast, we can cater for them.”

Being empathetic, non-judgemental and being able to work as part of a team are some of the qualities sought in a potential volunteer.

The hospice asks for a commitment of at least once a week, for two to four hours, and other hours are determined by negotiation.

“It’s so worthwhile and very rewarding,” Ms McClure said.

“Volunteers really are the heart and soul of the hospice.”

If you would like to help make a difference to the community, you can contact Albany Community Hospice on 9892 2456.