Hospice looking for volunteers to provide companionship to lonely patients

The Spalding Day Centre
The Spalding Day Centre
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St Barnabas Hospice is appealing for volunteers from across Lincolnshire to share a few hours each month with patients who are experiencing loneliness or isolation.

The consistent companion service was launched by St Barnabas in October amid a growing recognition nationally that too many people experience the negative impacts of loneliness.

Two-fifths of all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014), and for those experiencing deteriorating health these numbers can be even higher.

Lisa Gibson, community development manager for the hospice, said: “Regular social contact is really beneficial to wellbeing. Our fantastic volunteers make a tremendous difference in the lives of those they support. Spending a little time with someone on a regular basis can build resilience, help patients remain independent for longer and reduce the number of admissions to hospital.”

The charity’s volunteers will combat loneliness and help patients to remain connected to their communities by building positive and friendly relationships. Led by the patient, volunteers will offer companionship, support to access advice, a listening ear and in some cases trips out.

Lisa added: “The Consistent Companion service is all about preserving social contact and dignity through human kindness, and volunteers will find this role to be very personally rewarding. Our volunteers will gain valuable skills and hopefully enjoy the time spent with the patient.”

All volunteers will be subject to an advanced DBS check, training and regular supervision.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Lisa Gibson on 01476 513557 or email lisa.gibson@stbarnabashospice.co.uk