Volunteers at Countess Mountbatten House
Volunteers contribute greatly to CMH, working in many areas of the hospice:
- There are more than 150 volunteers
- Over 5000 miles are driven by volunteers each month
- Volunteers spend between 1 and 20 hours per week helping at CMH
- Some of the many and varied tasks currently undertaken include: serving at the tea bar, driving, gardening, feeding patients, befriending, bereavement support work, office work, catering for course lunches, helping in day care.
The role of the volunteer
- Volunteers at CMH are very much part of the inter-professional team and work alongside staff to help patients and their families
- Volunteers drive patients and relatives to and from CMH and transport equipment for patients
- The Day Care unit is well supported by a team of volunteers who spend time with the day patients, carrying out art and other projects with them
- A team of gardeners tend the gardens at CMH with each person having a designated area to look after
- The tea bar in CMH serves as a welcome resting/meeting place for patients' relatives and friends and is run on a rota system by volunteers
- Other tasks covered are escorting patients, weekend reception cover, feeding patients and administration roles
This team of volunteers undertake extra training to enable them to take part in the bereavement service. They assist with bereavement telephoning, as well as at relatives' and spouses' groups.
In the community we have volunteers who sit with a patient in their home, allowing ordinary life to carry on as much as possible, giving relatives a break for shopping etc, or befriending them. Befrienders also offer support to relatives who feel they need someone to talk to.
Becoming a volunteer
All potential volunteers complete an application form and will be invited for an interview, which includes a tour of the Unit and a chance to discuss availability and preferred areas of work. All new volunteers attend fire, health and safety procedure meetings, and two induction evenings where they meet CMH staff.
CMH relies a great deal on all its volunteers, without whom it would be impossible to achieve all that it does. The time and expertise that volunteers give helps greatly in achieving the relaxed and friendly atmosphere for which CMH is renowned.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or would like further information, please contact the voluntary services co-ordinator, Gina Henderson on (023) 8047 5312 or email us on Gina@cmhcharity.org.uk