Hospice in plea for em­pa­thetic lis­ten­ers

Staines Informer - - NEWS - Char­lotte To­bitt

PEO­PLE who are will­ing to lis­ten and lend their sup­port within the com­mu­nity are needed by Princess Alice Hospice.

The Esher-based char­ity is ap­peal­ing for chap­laincy lis­ten­ing vol­un­teers to train and ex­pand the hospice’s spir­i­tual and reli­gious care into the com­mu­nity.

Zoe Byrne, vol­un­teer de­vel­op­ment man­ager at Princess Alice, said: “Our chap­laincy lis­ten­ing vol­un­teers are very im­por­tant, help­ing peo­ple through some of the hard­est times in their lives. We need em­pa­thetic lis­ten­ers who will re­spect and value the ex­pe­ri­ence of oth­ers.

“It’s a role that would suit some­one who par­tic­i­pates in reg­u­lar spir­i­tual prac­tice, whether that is prayer or med­i­ta­tion, and is happy work­ing in a multi-faith way.”

The role in­volves vis­it­ing pa­tients and their close fam­ily mem­bers to talk with them in con­fi­dence about their per­sonal and spir­i­tual lives, with­out judge­ment.

Janet Macken­zie has been a chap­laincy vol­un­teer for a lit­tle over five years since re­tir­ing, pri­mar­ily in the in­pa­tient unit, but this year she has vis­ited three pa­tients in their homes while other vol­un­teers work in the day hospice. The Bookham res­i­dent said: “It’s a ques­tion of be­ing there for some­one when they’ve got a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness. We are not judge­men­tal. We are there for peo­ple of all faiths and none.

“Some­times peo­ple just need to talk. Some­times

Alis­tair Wil­son SA156265

Former teacher Janet Macken­zie has been a chap­laincy vol­un­teer with Princess Alice Hospice for five years.

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