Community Support Volunteers (CSVs) are trained volunteers who visit patients at home. They might be there for a chat over a cup of tea, offer respite to families, or just be there to listen when someone needs a friendly ear. A CSV who has recently joined St Wilfrid’s shared her experience of the role for the blog.  

'I had wanted to give my time to the hospice for a while, when I came across the Community Support Volunteer role; I liked the idea of visiting someone in my local community and that there were no set hours. After completing the training I came away feeling much more confident that I could do this!

'When I heard about the patient I was going to visit with Nikki, who co-ordinates the CSV programme, I was excited, and I couldn't wait to get started.

'We walked to the front door and knocked. I knew some things about the family and Nikki was right there, but I was so nervous. I wasn’t sure if I would get on with the patients, and I started to question if I could even do this.

'A friendly face answered the door, and we were welcomed into the home and offered a drink. The patient’s mum, who was also his carer, was so pleased that I was there.

'Her son had complex needs and found it hard to express himself. It meant that communication was not always easy, and it was not clear how much he was able to understand.

'As I listened to the patient’s mum I was overcome by her story; this lady just wanted someone to visit, be kind and enable her to go to have a break.

'In this house, which had been marked by sadness, I started to think maybe I could do this, maybe I was good enough.

'When we left I spoke to Nikki, she reassured me that this was my decision and talked about the difference another visit would make for the family. I decided to give it a go and phoned the mum that afternoon. She was so happy that I wanted to go back.

'The next time I went back, I sat with just the son. I started to talk about dogs, and his eyes smiled at me. I knew from that point onwards, we would be fine.

‘By the time I got home, there was a voicemail on my phone explaining how much the patient had enjoyed my company, and how grateful his mum was. I couldn’t believe it; I was good enough, after all.’

If you have been inspired by this story and want to find out more about being a Community Support Volunteer, please visit here, or contact Nikki, Community Volunteering Manager, on 07784 238 552