Information about our services for patients and families.Find out more
St Barnabas House Community Companions are volunteers who provide social and practical support to patients and their carers. They do not do not undertake personal care, but their role will complement the care provided by other services.
This support may enable patients to stay in their own home longer and avoid admission to hospital or transfer to a nursing home.
Many patients would prefer to remain at home, but may feel isolated or find that some tasks are becoming more difficult to complete on their own. To have a helping hand or someone who can pop in for a chat can make a big difference. It may be that you are no longer able to drive and would like to still go out and about, or need some help with your shopping.
Another important way that the Community Companions help is by providing company to a patient, so that the carer can have a short period of time to themselves. It may be that your carer would like to do the shopping, have a coffee with friends, continue attending a regular social club, but is reluctant to leave you on your own. The Community Companion would be able to be with you to enable your carer to continue with that activity.
The Community Companions come from a wide range of backgrounds and all will have gone through two days of training to prepare them for the role. The service is run by Voluntary Services and someone from that department will call you to talk through your expectations of the volunteers role.
Voluntary Services will make every endeavour to find a suitable Community Companion. Once identified as possibly suitable the volunteer will contact you by phone to arrange a mutually convenient time for you to meet. The Community Companion will not know your diagnosis or clinical background. However they will be informed of the kind of thing that may affect your mobility e.g. use a stick or a frame, or are a wheelchair user. They will also be informed of issues that may affect communication, e.g. you are hard of hearing, or partially sighted.
If you are a patient that is receiving care from one of the services within St Barnabas House or the carer of a patient then you are eligible to receive the service, please talk to the professional with whom you have contact and ask for a referral for a Community Companion.
If you are interested in becoming a Community Companion visit the volunteering section of our website where you can find out more and fill in an application form.