The first group of volunteers

A Dorset cancer charity is looking for volunteers to help patients who are nearing the end of their lives in Christchurch Hospital’s much-respected Macmillan Unit.

Macmillan Caring Locally works in partnership with the NHS to fund the unit and is keen to recruit volunteers who can support patients both in the hospital and in their own homes. A number of volunteers have completed their five-week induction training and will pave the way for the new community based roles.

The volunteer project is the inspiration of Sister Heather Rogers, Matron at the Macmillan Unit, and Neal Williams, Secretary of Macmillan Caring Locally.

Heather said: “The volunteers are invaluable on the Macmillan Unit as they not only provide companionship to patients but allow nursing staff the time to focus on providing excellent nursing care.

“Our new volunteer recruitment programme is a huge opportunity for volunteers to help transform services and bring about real improvements in the quality of care for the patients and their families.”

There are a number of volunteer roles available, including patient visitors, mealtime companions, administrative support and driving.

Neal said: “Volunteers make such a difference to the quality of life of our patients. Just being there to have a chat and a cup of tea can turn round a patient’s day.”

If you would like to volunteer in the Macmillan Unit, or want to find out more, call 01202 705353.

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