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Chris's Story

Chris's Story

Team: Bereavement Information Sessions

In planning a new direction in life on retirement I answered an ad in the local paper for volunteers to provide transport for Eastern Palliative Care.

Completing the training over eight weeks was a good introduction to the coordinators & fellow trainees, all of whom seemed a lovely mob to do business with. After 40 years in the construction industry it was a breath of fresh air to be dealing with such realistic, caring people.

This was the start of a 10 year run with volunteering at EPC.

I commenced duties soon after training in the Home Support role, providing company to clients and/or respite to carers.

Clients welcomed having a new face to discuss their life experiences with and carers took advantage to shop, catch up with friends or attend exercise classes.

It is a privilege as a stranger to be invited into their home and to be trusted with the intimate details of their lives.

I also participated in the ‘Walking through Grief’ program, acting as a ‘shepherd’ alongside clients who were grieving & who were enjoying the opportunity to meet people in a similar position.

This led to me volunteering for the Bereavement Information Sessions where we assist in setting up for the session & joining in the discussion if needed.

One of the most rewarding volunteer jobs I’ve done is as a Home Support Volunteer for a client in bereavement.

Of course, in amongst all of these roles I’ve also transported clients to medical appointments.

A big factor in my enjoyment of being an EPC volunteer has been the support & organisation of the volunteer coordinators who make you feel appreciated & important.

Being a member of the EPC volunteer fraternity has been an absolute pleasure. We catch up at monthly forums & at regular network meetings.

My experiences as a volunteer with EPC has been very rewarding, and I would warmly recommend it to others who feel they would like to be part of a team working to help clients in palliative care.

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