The Everything in Place (EiP) project aims to encourage conversations for individuals (and within families), regarding informed decision making in respect of planning ‘a good death’. Given the diverse audience requirements, EiP sessions will always be supported by at least 1 volunteer, virtual sessions may have more.
Volunteers report to the Community Liaison Officer/EiP Project Manager. EiP volunteers assist with the delivery of the programme either during face to face meetings or virtual sessions. An important part of the volunteer role is to welcome people into the sessions, look after delegates by making sure the room is setup properly and refreshments are available. Priority is given to the care and support of anyone who might find parts of the course challenging or upsetting. This would be the same during virtual sessions, however the procedure would be different, in that they might have to go into a ‘breakout’ area with the delegate and have similar supportive conversations.
The role of the volunteer is to support the delegates in their learning experience including the following:
• Room preparation/layout/clearance
• Support delegates and Session lead
• Report any concerns to Session lead
• Work with Session lead to keep conversations flowing
• Encourage conversations, anecdotes and shared learning
• Know which documents should be given out and when
• Make sure registration and evaluation forms are fully completed
• Serve refreshments
It is essential that the session lead always has support, due to the nature of the discussions it is not unusual for people to become tearful or upset, sometimes expected, sometimes unexpected – triggers can come from anywhere. We need volunteers to ‘look out’ for delegates that might be struggling; it might be an emotional issue or maybe understanding the concept of the message, delivery is very much a team effort.
In time there is an expectation that volunteers understand and become familiar with course information, and that volunteers can comfortably support delegates with difficult conversations. Volunteers may also get the opportunity to deliver parts of a session, read a poem, ask a specific question etc. If volunteers feel suitably confident there is no reason that they could not deliver full sessions in the future. This would help with sustainability and in times of staff emergency.
This role will suit people who are…
• Friendly, calm, supportive of delegates/colleagues
• Good at observing and listening
• Patient and non-judgemental, everyone’s opinion is valid, no right or wrong answers
• Chatty and able to keep the conversations going
• Interested in other people’s stories, life journeys and peer learning. Sharing examples of good and bad practice supports our key messages
• Reliable in attendance
It is also essential that you can demonstrate our Hospice values of Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Professionalism, Choice and Reputation. They define who we are and what we do as a high quality care provider and high quality place to volunteer.
Face to face sessions are delivered in various locations in County Durham.
Online sessions can be supported from the comfort of your own home in a quiet space free of interruptions.
Programme timetables and locations are set up by the EiP Project Manager and discussed with the volunteer.
Every volunteer must partake in a full EiP Course before making a decision to formally commit to the role. The sessions are diverse and volunteers should already be in a mind-set where they can cope with unforeseen situations, make decisions, pre-empt, and react to group dynamics.
Volunteers will have the full support of the Session lead, and will also support each other.
In addition, we value our volunteers and want your experience to be both positive and fulfilling. We offer a comprehensive induction programme and any appropriate instruction, guidance or training to assist you in your volunteer role. We ask that any essential training is completed either prior to you starting with us or within three months of starting. You will have an opportunity to learn new skills, build social networks, share experiences and skills and be recognised for the contribution you make.
Any agreed out of pocket expenses that are incurred when carrying out your volunteer role will be reimbursed (mileage can be claimed to attend face to face sessions).
It is important to understand that you will be helping families and individuals to make informed decisions about their future care needs, sharing their wishes, developing plans and preparing legal documents. This opportunity will give you the knowledge that you are supporting people to have a good death.
Access to a laptop or similar with a good internet connection and a quiet space free of interruptions – N.B. for online EiP sessions only.