Farleigh Hospice - The Lantern Suite Information Centre
8th March 2011
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Farleigh Hospice appeals for volunteers to help in new

Lantern Suite Information Centre


With the official opening set to take place on 7th April, it’s not long before Farleigh Hospice’s new Lantern Suite development will be in operation and open to the general public. Built through the help of a £500,000 grant from the Department of Health, the two storey extension to the hospice’s main site in North Court Road, Chelmsford, will; greatly enhance the services Farleigh Hospice already provides, totally free of charge, to the people of mid Essex, as well as house a brand new Information Centre. The role of the Lantern Suite’s Information Centre will be to provide an innovative drop in facility for patients and members of the general public to utilise, whether they are seeking general hospice information or more complex, in-depth help and advice. In preparation for the opening, Farleigh Hospice is making a plea for 8-10 volunteers from the local community to come forward and help with the day-to-day running of the Information Centre.


In order to successfully run the Lantern Suite Farleigh Hospice needs to recruit a band of 8-10 volunteers to work alongside existing members of staff at the hospice. The role requires a range of skills and involves; making visitors feel welcome, providing a listening ear, enabling visitors to access the right information or signposting them to the relevant member of the clinical team. Full training will be provided.


The Lantern Suite drop in service will be accessible from 09.00 – 16.00 hours, Monday to Friday, and we are therefore looking for volunteers to help during mornings or afternoons, on any day of the week (hours can be flexible to suit).


Farleigh Hospice currently has a team of approximately 700 volunteers whose input is present throughout the whole of the hospice and equates to over £1,000,000 in time given per year. From helping in each of the 9 charity shops located across mid Essex, the fundraising department, in the In Patient Unit and two day hospices, their help is vital in enabling Farleigh Hospice to maintain the first class level of service they are known for and which local people affected by life limiting illnesses rely upon 365 days of the year.


Stephen Hogben currently volunteers as a driver/support worker on Farleigh Hospice’s HOP (Hospice Outreach Project) vehicle which delivers specialist help, information and advice right into the heart of our community every week. He explains why he finds volunteering for the hospice so rewarding; “During my time as a volunteer at Farleigh Hospice I have seen how people’s outlook can be transformed in a very short space of time, whether that is by giving bereaved people the support and encouragement they need, or providing information that can bring new sources of practical and emotional help. Knowing I’m part of that team brings its own personal and social rewards.”


Farleigh Hospice’s Specialist HOP Nurse, Maria Curtis-Gilkes, says; “I completely agree with Stephen. Sometimes the most straight forward advice or support can make all the difference to how a person feels or copes with a situation.  Our current team of HOP volunteers are absolutely amazing and we couldn’t run the service the way that we do without them. Now we are looking to recruit people with the same qualities for the new Lantern Suite development. In my experience people often feel overwhelmed, or that control over their lives is being taken away and there is a real skill in making visitors feel welcome, providing a supportive, listening ear, enabling them to access the right information or sign posting to the correct member of the clinical team. Of course we will provide ongoing training and support to each volunteer.”


If you would like an application pack please contact our Human Resources Team on 01245 457324 or if you have any queries about the role please contact Specialist HOP Nurse, Maria Curtis-Gilkes on 01245 457418 or email hop@farleighhospice.org


Thank you ~ It is because you care that we can.

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