Help at the end of the road

Palliative Care volunteer course participants Barry Cunningham, Judith Hunt, Rosemary Halford, Sally Nicholls, Irene Grevengoed, Andrew Cox and Loretta Hynes with co-ordinator of the Shoalhaven Palliative care service, Paul Colyer.

Palliative Care volunteer course participants Barry Cunningham, Judith Hunt, Rosemary Halford, Sally Nicholls, Irene Grevengoed, Andrew Cox and Loretta Hynes with co-ordinator of the Shoalhaven Palliative care service, Paul Colyer.

A DEDICATED group of volunteers are the newest recruits in helping people in the Shoalhaven come to terms with death.

The group of palliative care volunteers has been attending the eight-week course for one day a week.

The course has focused on topics not often spoken, or even thought, about, including loss, grief, death, dying and spirituality.

When they graduate, the volunteers will be equipped to help those with life-limiting illnesses and their families cope.

Paul Colyer, the co-ordinator of Shoalhaven Palliative Care Service, has been running the course.

“The volunteers will find themselves doing supervised visits at Karinya with an experienced volunteer before going on a roster to visit either Karinya or homes in the community,” he said.

“The role of the volunteer is to be a support. The service has been going since 1987, and some of those initial volunteers are still with us. 

“The idea of volunteering in this field quite often appeals to someone who has already been through the process of losing a loved one. It is really important to have the right kind of care and support for this time in a person’s life.

“It is quite often the family who needs the support,” he said.

Rosemary Halford is one of the volunteers who will soon be heading out into the community to give support to those in need.

“I had a personal experience with the palliative care service when a relative of mine died. 

“When I retired I thought I would give something back and decided to volunteer.

“I like the idea that there is a very defined training program and there is also a lot of support,” she said.

The palliative care volunteer course runs on a numbers basis and is normally limited to 10 people.

For more information about the service or volunteering, contact Paul Colyer on 4464 6985. 

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