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Why I became a hospice Community Companion

Part of the support St Barnabas provides is the opportunity to be matched with a Community Companion. This is a voluntary role, providing befriending support to patients in their own homes.

Jazzy, 28, is our youngest Community Companion. After studying psychology at university, Jazzy wanted to positively impact someone’s life and use her skills to help others, so she looked for a role in hospice care. Here, Jazzy tells us more about the role and what it means to her:

Image of Jazzy

“From a young age, I’ve enjoyed being there for others and giving back to the community. I’ve been volunteering since I was 12 in a variety of settings such as care homes, special educational needs schools and local community centres. This sparked an interest in pursuing a career path relating to either psychology or counselling.

During my university studies, I developed a particular interest in palliative and hospice care and later volunteered in a Hong Kong hospice for five months to see if I would be suitable. While I was there, I established such special bonds with the patients and their families that it encouraged me to keep pursuing my aspiration of becoming a counsellor. While I’m waiting to complete my training, I decided to become a Community Companion.

I tend to meet with my patient on a Wednesday and having these weekly visits to look forward to gives me an extra boost of happiness and motivation to power through my week. My patient is full of interesting stories and despite our age gap (they are 95), we have similar senses of humour, so our conversations are always entertaining and memorable. Every time I leave their home, I am left with a warm feeling in my heart because of how pleasant our time together always is. Plus, they have a cat that I get to play with, which is the icing on the cake!

There is plenty of training and support provided by St Barnabas. Before you meet patients, you go to a training day and ongoing training is provided as well. You are also encouraged to attend peer support meetings where you get the opportunity to share your experiences with one another.

The team from St Barnabas is always there to lend a listening ear and everyone is warm and genuine, so I feel reassured that should any issues or worries arise, I can comfortably speak to someone about it.

For me, being a Community Companion – and volunteering in general – has multitudes of benefits, regardless of your background. Not only can it benefit you personally by fostering empathy and self-growth, but you also have the chance to make a difference in another person’s life – which is a win-win situation if you ask me!”

Could you join the team?

If you’re interested in becoming a Community Companion like Jazzy, then we're always on the lookout for new volunteers. All you need to fit this role is: a few hours spare during the week, good listening skills an an interest in helping your local community.

Apply or find out more