Be brave, be bold and be part of our team! You have nothing to lose but lots to gain!
Volunteers required for :
CHARITY SHOP | RECEPTION | COPPER DRIVE COUNTING | FUNDRAISING EVENTS
St Bernard’s Hospice (STBH) has been active in the East London community for the past 27 years. For those 27 years one very dedicated lady by the name of Joan Barrow has been a volunteer to STBH for longer than 27 years. Joan started volunteering when she was 58 years old and will be turning 85 years old on the 16 November 2018. When Joan started volunteering it was completely different to the Hospice we know today. The house at 44 St Marks Street was a donation to STBH, but had no furnishing so they used to sit on the floor and hold their meetings etc. It was great fun and great fun to see it all coming together.
However, from the late 1980’s and 1990’s times have changed radically. In the early days it was common that women stayed home and looked after the house and children and had extra time on their hands to do voluntary work. However, in to-days day and age this in most cases is no longer possible, most Moms have to work, looking after the house and children and do not have time to do voluntary work.
In the old days the volunteers did a short course in palliative care as they would volunteer their precious time so that the Professional Nurses, Carers or family members could have a short respite from looking after the patient. They would be able to go shopping, have their hair done etc. or just catch up on a couple of hours of sleep.
Today we have qualified Professional Nurses and Carers who go into the community to visit patients in their homes. Therefore, the whole Hospice culture has changed from the patient coming here to us going there. This is a good thing as we are able to see many more patients in the comfort of their homes. This also saves the patient taxi fares etc. as most of our patients live on social grants, live in shacks and in some cases really destitute.
In today’s day and age, we are looking for volunteers to assist with reception duties, charity shop duties, counting of tin monies collected at local Spars, assist in the fundraising department, count Copper Drive monies etc.
Joan and other ladies and gentlemen from that era in my opinion have been instrumental in the success of STBH, not forgetting Dr. Betty Bennett the founder of STBH who felt the need of the East London community to assist with managing life-threatening illnesses in the form of Palliative Care (pain management).
STBH in the 2017/2018 financial year looked after approximately 596 patients suffering from a life-threatening or life-limiting illness such as Cancer, Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (DRTB), Susceptible Tuberculosis (TB), Motor Neuron Disease (MND), HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and more, by rendering Home Based Palliative Care and Support. This program is to ensure that no person in need of basic health care is left without the opportunity to access primary, palliative care or discriminated against because of race, gender, age or their ability to pay for basic health care.
In order to do the above, we need to have volunteers on board to help us manage this process. We appeal to you to please try and donate your time even if it is one hour a week this will help us. The majority of our volunteers are in their 70’s and 80’s we need to recruit new volunteers to take over some of their roles.
Author : Dawn Schmidt / Corporate Liaison / Fundraising Department St Bernards’ Hospice