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.

    Sign up to become a volunteer with EPC