BY KATHLEEN BUSO

Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” Even 2400 years ago, the importance of giving back to our community was recognized.

Hospice Northwest is currently looking for compassionate individuals to do just that – to serve others and to do good. Shaylin Moore, HNW volunteer coordinator, is launching the 2021 fall volunteer recruitment campaign this August. Her goal is to recruit 30 dedicated individuals to join the Hospice Northwest team. Classes run every Thursday evening through November. Applications must be in by the end of October.

Are you wondering if you would be a good fit for hospice volunteering?

Are you a compassionate listener with a caring attitude who possesses the ability to provide empathetic and non-judgemental companionship, maintaining confidentiality at all times? Are you prepared to commit approximately 3 hours of time per week for a minimum of 1 year?

If you answered yes to these questions and would like to know more, please contact Shaylin at 807-626-5572.

Once your application has been received, along with two personal references, you will be contacted to schedule an introductory interview. We will also require a current criminal record check.

You will then be enrolled in a provincially accredited hospice training program which will help you understand the many issues people face at the end of life. The training is delivered through a variety of formats including online modules, group sessions and recorded videos.

After completing the course, you will be matched with clients and will become their companion during their journey through illness. Your location, interests and availability are considered when matching you with a client. The emotional support you provide clients will help enhance their quality of life and help them live life to the fullest.

Not everyone who completes the training will go on to become a Hospice Northwest volunteer. However, once you have completed the course, you will have a valuable life skill that you can apply to all areas of your life.

The training fee is $100.00, which will be reimbursed to you after you graduate and continue as a Hospice Northwest volunteer.

Our Volunteer Coordinator sat down with new volunteer, Hasan Ercan, to discuss his experiences as a Hospice Volunteer. The following are excerpts from their interview.

Shaylin: How did you like the volunteer training program? Did it prepare you for your role as a hospice volunteer?

Hasan: It was amazing since the first training meeting I had with our coordinators. Training was in two forms, with weekly meetings and an online platform. Both were very informative and helpful for the roles we are in and the situations we may encounter. It helped me so much to build confidence with my clients and teach me how to give them my best.

Shaylin: Please describe your first meeting with your client(s)

Hasan: It was a very exciting moment for me finally being able to meet with a client and listen to their stories. After having chatted for a while, we were able to build a relationship. I find each client I meet is a new experience, as they all have different stories, so that first excitement is always there.

Shaylin: How do you like volunteering with Hospice Northwest?

Hasan: I value this role so much and love being there, being with that person. I love that they can feel comfortable with me and that I am able to share things with the clients. Being in that moment truly affects your emotions. You feel great about the person, hoping you were helpful in the moments that they are struggling.

Shaylin: Do you have any thoughts on what you would say to encourage others to volunteer?

Hasan: If you are an individual looking to give a very big value to our beautiful community and have the willingness to put in the time and effort, you are going to make a beautiful impact in their lives.

Shaylin: How has volunteering enriched your life?

Hasan: Knowing and feeling you are making a positive impact in your clients’ lives and providing value to their time definitely makes you feel grateful and appreciated. My visits with my clients are usually the highlights of my day, with so many different emotions involved.

Please contact Shaylin at 807-626-5572 for more information on becoming a Hospice Northwest volunteer or visit our website at http://www.hospicenorthwest.ca/how-you-can-help/hospice-northwest-volunteer-program/become-a-hospice-volunteer/


This monthly column from Hospice Northwest examines various aspects of palliative support and bereavement services. It appears on the Healthstyle page of The Chronicle-Journal on the first Tuesday of each month. Call Hospice Northwest at 626-5570 for more information.