St Catherine’s Hospice Offers Brand New Carers Befriending Service
St Catherine’s Hospice is delighted to announce a new service development by our Family Support Team aimed to support carers in the form of a Carers Befriending Service. The service is an exciting project and Lancashire County Council has provided a financial grant to support its development.
The Family Support Team (i.e. a team of qualified social workers) has worked closely for some time with carers in groups and on an individual basis. One of the messages the team heard was for the need for unpaid carers to take a break of a few hours to attend to their own needs, for example, to visit their dentist, hairdressers or a friend.
To be eligible for the service, the ‘cared for person’ must have a palliative diagnosis, be mainly housebound, socially isolated and known to existing Hospice services. The volunteer ‘befriender’ will sit with the cared for person for up to four hours a week to enable the unpaid carer to take a well deserved break.
The Family Support Team has provided a comprehensive training programme to six enthusiastic volunteers. Of course, the volunteers have all undertaken interviews and appropriate checks. The Family Support Team will coordinate the service and make all initial assessments, and match volunteers to the person’s needs. When all assessments are complete the volunteers will sit with a cared for person in the carers absence.
We are very grateful to the volunteers for their time and commitment and hope they will find the experience rewarding and interesting. Their role includes visiting the cared for person at home at prearranged times. They sit with the cared for person providing conversation, help with hobbies, company and engaging them in social activities. The role does not include any personal care, moving and handling or domestic duties, nor does it replace any professional paid worker.
We will try as far as possible to match the Befrienders interests with that of the cared for person.
If you require any further information about the service or wish to become a volunteer Befriender contact email@example.com .
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