Hospice needs volunteers who can be good neighbours

Volunteers willing to make a positive difference to the lives of those coping with long-term and life-threatening illnesses and their loved ones are being sought by St Nicholas Hospice Care.

The volunteer-led service Hospice Neighbours was set up by the hospice in 2010 and aims to help people coping with illness across west Suffolk and Thetford by providing companionship and support.

Glenn Hubbard, Hospice Neighbours manager, said the service, which in 2015 was awarded a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, needs more people to join it so it can continue its efforts across the area.

At the moment the charity, which at any one time can help more than 120 people, is particularly keen to hear from those who would be able to visit people living in the Brandon, Mildenhall and Lakenheath areas.

Glenn said: “We know there are people across the community who would really benefit from a Hospice Neighbour’s help, which is why we are really keen to continue growing this service and raise awareness of what Hospice Neighbours do and how they make a difference.”

Full training and support is offered to all Hospice Neighbours, with their role to offer support through simple tasks, such as walking the dog, doing some light housework, mowing the lawn, going to the post office or just having a chat over a cup of tea.

Genaya Rushton, a volunteer who has given her time to the charity as a Hospice Neighbour, said: “The role fits perfectly into my life; I find it helps keep things in perspective. I personally gained a lot from being involved in Hospice Neighbours and have met so many amazing people.

“I truly believe the idea of being able to provide support and companionship – a cup of tea and a friendly chat – for people suffering from chronic illness or nearing end of life, in their own home, is something really special.”

For further information please contact 01284 719638 and ask to speak to Bernie or Glenn. You can also visit the hospice’s website www.stnicholashospicecare.org.uk and search for Hospice Neighbours to find out more.

Pictured above are the Hospice Neighbours celebrating the service winning the Queen’s Award from Buckingham Palace.

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