The J’s Hospice is appealing for volunteers to help at its popular ‘Inspire!’ social group which meets in Danbury.
The charity is based in Witham and is part of Havens Hospices. It cares for young adults living with complex or incurable conditions across Essex. The Inspire! group gives them a chance to get together, socialise and experience new activities while their families have some free time, knowing that their loved ones are safe and being well cared for.
Inspire! is run by staff from The J’s Care and Wellbeing Teams alongside a group of enthusiastic volunteers and takes place on a Saturday afternoon seven times a year at Danbury Mission.
Amanda Pelham, Wellbeing Team Leader at The J’s, explained, “We couldn’t run Inspire! without the support of our fantastic volunteers who make such a huge difference to the young adults that we care for. They play a vital role in bringing smiles to their faces by encouraging and helping them to take part in our activities so they can really enjoy the group.
“We’re looking for happy, enthusiastic people to join our Inspire! team, either working directly with our patients or helping the afternoon to run smoothly by making refreshments, running the activities and helping on reception. You don’t need any medical skills as our Care Team are always there to provide support – but it’s a great opportunity to get some valuable experience if you are training for a job in the care sector such as a nurse, carer or youth worker.“
Judith Way from Great Baddow is a teacher and has been volunteering at Inspire! for several years which she really enjoys.
She explained, “I believe that The J’s is an incredibly worthwhile charity. Originally, I did things like marshalling at events, helping at jumble sales and even a sponsored slim but I realised I wanted to actually meet the young people for whom I was helping to raise money. The Inspire! social group was the perfect place to do this so I went along to give it a try, saw for myself how much the youngsters got out of it and I’ve been going ever since.
“Usually I am paired up with a patient with whom I do lots of different activities including crafts, nail painting, hand or foot massage, music, sampling delicious cakes and fruit and meeting farm animals or exotic animals. Often there are Pets as Therapy dogs there too which are adorable and bring a smile to my patient’s face!”
The J’s Hospice provides training and support for Inspire! volunteers. There is also a briefing before each group so that everyone knows what they are doing and can ask any questions that they may have before the young adults arrive.
Judith added, “As a volunteer I feel fully supported by the medical staff who are always there to deal with any emergency that may arise. The training for volunteers is done online and most of it is common sense so not too difficult to complete.
“Personally I find the whole experience extremely rewarding. I have learned from it, have made new friends, tried things I never would have done otherwise and enjoyed working as part of a great team. Why not come along and give it a try for yourself?”
If you are interested in being an Inspire! volunteer like Judith, please click here for more information or call the Volunteer Team on 01702 426237.