Last week was a bit of a whirlwind. Since leaving the Samaritans I’ve been looking for something to fill that type of void and have looked at various other options but none have ticked the box, that is until I came across a volunteering roll that ‘may’ suit where I’m at?
So last week it contacted Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge who were looking for Community Volunteers to support patients, or carers, through home visiting, to offer companionship and support and generally contribute to enhancing their quality of life when they most need it towards the end. The scheme is mainly run through Mary Stevens Hospice but is also runs in conjunction with the Macmillan Specialist Care at Home. It was originally a pilot scheme in 2015 which proved to be very successful therefore has since been rolled out.
I first made contact with the hospice last Monday, on Tuesday they called me back and invited me in for a chat with their 2 recruiting staff the following day. Liking what we all had to say they invited me back for a ‘formal’ interview on the Friday. This was with the head of personnel, where again we seemed to be on the same page. From there they put me on the first of a 2-hour training course, which runs over the following 3 weeks. Fortunately the timing was right as they only run the training periodically.
At the time of writing I am partway through the course along with 5 other people. The course was a little similar to the Samaritans one (but less intense as the Samaritans one ran for 8 weeks) so felt at ease with both the content and more importantly I felt very comfortable with the staff at Mary Stevens. Incidentally one of the course attendees was a guy who himself has cancer and resides at the hospice, he is looking to offer help and support to others in a similar situation. Personally, providing you can handle it, I think this is a great idea, it gives you a focus but more importantly, when visiting other cancer patients, he can relate to them on a more personal level as they are going through the same thing together.
Like the Samaritans, I think this will be challenging from the emotional point of view, however, I tend to look at life, or to be more precise in this instance, ‘end of life’ in a philosophical way. However, this maybe challenged should I consider, for example, that they haven’t had ‘a good innings’ so to speak. Time will tell.