GIVE COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERING A GO
Thinking about community volunteering? Come to a Ballarat Hospice Care Volunteer Information Session.
In the words of Mrs Kath Connors, “If you have thoughts of volunteering for Ballarat Hospice Care; why not give it a go and just do it?”
Kath has volunteered for Ballarat Hospice Care for 35 years and recently retired from direct patient support. While Kath continues her connection to Ballarat Hospice Care, she shares her volunteering story so others consider what they could do. Importantly she encourages people to attend a March Volunteer Information Session to find out more.
Kath was present at the first public meeting about Ballarat Hospice Care hosted by the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council in 1984. She voiced her support to establish a community Hospice service in Ballarat and became a volunteer for Ballarat Hospice Care soon after in 1986.
Kath recognised the need for a community palliative care service first hand after providing care for her husband who died in 1981. Trained as a nurse, Kath uniquely understood the immense value of a palliative care service in the community. Caring for loved ones who are terminally ill at home is demanding. People need compassionate community support in addition to the specialised medical services and support available.
Reflecting on her years of service, Kath noted that often there is plenty of support and services provided for the patient, however “If a carer is not well supported we may have both the patient and the carer in hospital, which is not what we want at all.”
Supporting others has been the focus of Kath’s volunteering; providing trusted companionship, visiting patients and carers at their home. She also spent time with patients while their carer attended personal appointments. These simple acts of kindness allowed people to step away from the caring role to look after themselves knowing that the person they cared for was well looked after.
When asked what kept Kath volunteering at Ballarat Hospice Care she immediately answered
“It’s a valuable 24 hour community service for people facing a challenging time in their lives.
“It’s the people and the other volunteers.
“It’s a very satisfying and rewarding role where you definitely get way more than you give.
“Importantly, there is variety, it may not be a role like mine; it could be working in the Op Shop, community events or gardening. There is definitely something for everyone.”
Ballarat Hospice Care Volunteer Information Sessions are on
- Thursday March 18 from 10-11am OR
- Thursday March 25 from 6-7pm
- Call 5333 1118 for more information or to register