Aim or goal of position
Our Helping Hands Befrienders offer supportive, reliable relationships to people affected by advancing illness, helping them to cope and improving their well-being.
As this is a specialist role working closely with individual patients and their families, training will be provided.
Main responsibilities and suggested activities
The duties and responsibilities of a Helping Hands Befriender can be many and varied as the relationship is unique and tailored to the needs of the individual person. The volunteer will work closely within the parameters of the service agreement in place and the role description, in providing appropriate support to the patient, carer and family members. Client-related activities may include:
- Supporting patients and their carers affected by advancing illness in their own home or care establishment providing friendship and social support
- Providing a listening ear for patients, carers and their families
- Providing companionship (reading, chatting, letter writing)
- Providing respite for carers for short periods (up to maximum of three hours) as agreed
- Offering opportunities to participate in social/recreational and daily living activities (may go out on trips)
Although not a clinical service, Helping Hands involves working directly with Hospice patients and their families and so there are other responsibilities related to the management of the service rather than the befriending activity. Please download the role description at the bottom of this page to read about these.
Skills / attributes and/or qualification(s) required
- Ability to adjust to being with people with increasing health problems
- Good social and communication skills
- A caring, sympathetic, sensitive manner and a non-judgmental approach
- Ability to sensitively and appropriately relate to the client group
- Polite, caring and friendly nature
- Patient in supporting clients
- The ability to be around people in distress and remain calm
- Have an awareness of boundaries between clients and volunteers
- Ability to maintain client confidentiality
- Ability to secure information supplied in line with data protection requirements
- Reliable, dependable, flexible and punctual
- Meet PVG requirements
- Meet driving requirements if agree to take client trips in own car
Estimated hoursArrangements will be agreed between the Helping Hands volunteer, the Service Manager and those they are supporting. Volunteers are asked to commit to a befriending session on a weekly or fortnightly basis for at least six months.
Work siteClient’s home, may be other by specific agreement