Alison Hutton, from Harpenden, first came across Supporting Hands eight years ago in the Herts Advertiser. She has now appeared in the same publication to call on others to join her in the amazing work she and the rest of the team does.
Supporting Hands is a companionship and practical support scheme staffed by volunteers who give up their time to support local people who are living with a progressive life-limiting illness. Volunteers might provide companionship, practical support or respite care, depending on the needs of the individual patient they support.
Alison comments about how it is not only about the patient themselves, who is impacted by life-limiting illness and feels the benefit of the support. It is also about those around them who can feel the real difference that a volunteer can make. She comments:
“If a family member is caring for a loved one they might not feel able to leave them alone at home. So having a volunteer to keep the patient company for a couple of hours might give them the only chance in their week to leave the house alone.’’
A Supporting Hands volunteer can provide practical care and help, but equally be there just for a nice friendly chat. To sit with a patient and provide much needed company.
Alison tells us:
“One of the things I like most about the role is the chance to chat to patients and families. Often they have a steady stream of healthcare professionals visiting their home but this visit is different –I am not there to discuss anything medical, I’m there to just chat and be with them. This makes a huge difference to both patients and carers.”
Alison Raynor, our Support Hands Lead explains why more volunteers are needed:
“The support that volunteers like Alison provide to patients and families really is invaluable.’’
She tells us that now more than ever more volunteers are needed for this vital service, which makes such a positive and significant impact. No medical knowledge is needed at all and even if a volunteer only has a couple of hours a week to spare, this could make all the difference.
So, why not join Alison and the other incredible volunteers who provide this essential service and see the huge difference your contribution could make to patients, their families and our nurses too?
To find out more visit www.renniegrovepeace.org
Call: 01727 73 10 20