Volunteers get training at new hospital centre

Basildon Recorder: Volunteers get training at new hospital centre Volunteers get training at new hospital centre

TRAINING for volunteers who will help to run a £650,000 cancer support centre at Southend Hospital has begun.

Macmillan information and support manager Friederike Englund will oversee the centre, which will offer help and advice to patients, their family and carers.

Friederike, who has 30 years experience working with people who have cancer and other chronic illnesses, has been training the volunteers before the centre opens next month.

Because of an influx in applications after a recent Echo article, the centre does not need to recruit any more volunteers until May.

Friederike said: “We had an incredible response from the article in the Echo and we now have people queuing to volunteer.

“The training sessions have been really good, because they’re really interactive.

“We have small groups with a mix of cancer patients and those who haven’t had cancer, which has created a lot of discussion.

“I think we’ve got a fantastic calibre of volunteers with a variety of skills, so we’re really lucky.”

The training covers various topics, such as coping with loss, how to support grieving children, different kinds of support available at the site and how to provide information to patients, relatives and carers.

Volunteer Dawn Crockford is undertaking a counselling diploma and plans to volunteer at the centre in her spare time.

Dawn, 51, lost her father, Gus, to pancreatic cancer in 1997, and hopes to help other people who are in a similar situation.

She said: “I saw the story in the Echo and decided to apply. I wasn’t looking to volunteer initially but after reading the article, I thought I could spare a few hours.

“I lost my father to cancer, so I understand the massive impact it has on everyone – not just the person with cancer, but their friends and family too.

“Macmillan were fantastic when my dad passed away, so I’d love to give something back to them.”

Another volunteer, Anna Booty, from Thorpe Bay, said she applied to volunteer because she enjoys helping other people.

Anna’s husband, Stanley, has been battling cancer of the nose and throat for more than a year.

Anna, 63, said: “I applied because I just felt the need to help others.

“My husband is battling cancer, so I hope it will help me to be aware of other people’s needs and how to be sensitive to them.

“I like to talk to people and I just want to help and give them support where they need it. I’m really looking forward to the launch.”

Comments (2)

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5:36pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Stamper2 says...

If I had to use the new centre, I would not want to have volunteers dealing with me. Why on earth can't the hospital just pay staff like other employers? Why should volunteers be involved? Cancer is a serious illness, what on earth will a bunch of volunteers be able to advise on, compared to a properly medically trained member of staff?

I hope they have advised their professional indemnity insurers, and got their approval first.........
If I had to use the new centre, I would not want to have volunteers dealing with me. Why on earth can't the hospital just pay staff like other employers? Why should volunteers be involved? Cancer is a serious illness, what on earth will a bunch of volunteers [even if well intentioned] be able to advise on, compared to a properly medically trained member of staff? I hope they have advised their professional indemnity insurers, and got their approval first......... Stamper2

5:57pm Mon 17 Feb 14

runwellian says...

Is this not a case of 'if you can get it fro free, why pay?

I was approached by a volunteer in x-ray who tried to force open a door of a cubicle insisting she had to tell me how to put a gown on!

If folk want help, they will ask and we are not all fuddy duddies!
Is this not a case of 'if you can get it fro free, why pay? I was approached by a volunteer in x-ray who tried to force open a door of a cubicle insisting she had to tell me how to put a gown on! If folk want help, they will ask and we are not all fuddy duddies! runwellian

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