Community Support Volunteer talks about role

Volunteers’ Week runs from 3rd to 9th June. It’s a time to celebrate volunteers and the wonderful contributions they make. We spoke to Simon, who has been a Community Support Volunteer (CSV) for the past six months, about his role.

“I am based at the Eastbourne hospice, although my volunteering eventually requires me to be out and about visiting patients in their homes.

“The role can be very varied for any of us working as CSVs, as much depends upon the circumstances of the patients and the extent of their network of family and friends who are able to support them. Where possible I think patients benefit if they are able to spend a little time out of the house for a short walk and a coffee locally and have a change of scenery.

“I currently help one patient, Cyril, who I usually visit once a week. We like to go over to Sovereign Harbour, take a look around the Marina and have a toastie at a café.

“I have only been helping as a CSV for around six months, having retired two years ago and moving back to Sussex, my county of birth, after living in Scotland for the past 25 years. I have the benefit of time in my retirement and the commitment to the CSV role is easy to fit into my weekly schedule. I am shortly to take on another patient.

“I wanted to become a CSV because I like being with people, and helping people who are perhaps in a less fortunate position than myself as far as their health is concerned. It’s very rewarding.

“I would thoroughly recommend being a CSV. Not only is it a pleasure to develop relationships with patients, but we are wonderfully supported by the CSV Team Leaders, Paul and Tracey. They both know all of us well and take great care in matching us with suitable patients.

“They are clearly passionate about their work, and they arrange monthly meetings for us to get together with the other CSVs. This is invaluable and ensures we are not isolated in our roles and to feel part of a real team.”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, visit: http://www.stwhospice.org/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/

Pictured: Cyril (left) and Simon

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