Hospice core training: A volunteer opportunity

By Roderick Benns

Caring and compassion have always been trademark qualities of the many people who volunteer with the Community Care Health and Care Network’s Hospice Services.

The organization is offering the chance for new volunteers to get involved with helping to ease the journey of local residents facing serious illness, end of life, and grief and bereavement.

Columnist Mike Puffer.

A training series for interested volunteers begins in April. Hospice Core Training begins April 10 and runs for 10 sessions (Tuesday and Fridays, 1 to 4 p.m.), at 2 Kent St. W. in Lindsay.

Volunteers are the backbone of many Hospice services offered at no cost to local residents, says program co-coordinator Carolyn Parkes. Such volunteers support Hospice clients living with critical illness in the community. Upon completion of the core training, participants will have gained a better understanding for the different aspects of palliative care, providing comfort measures for end-of-life clients, attitudes towards death and dying, communication, family dynamics, grief and loss, and more.

Hospice volunteers support many local individuals and their families each year. Recently, James Huff, son of the late Mary Anne Huff of Lindsay, shared how Hospice volunteers provided support to his family during his mother’s illness.

“Mom trusted the staff and volunteers from Community Care Hospice Services. At the end of her life we learned she had allowed Hospice volunteers to spend time with her.” One such volunteer introduced herself to the family when Mary Anne was admitted to hospital in the last week of her life.

“Knowing how private our mother was, it was amazing to hear this volunteer tell us about the moments they shared together,” James said. “The volunteers were able to be there for Mom through to the end of her life in a way that others could not. The Hospice volunteers spread compassion and care around us like a warm blanket. We all felt such a relief to be surrounded by their caring.

“Because we had the support of Community Care Hospice Services, we were able to help Mom die surrounded by the people she loved. The Community Care Hospice volunteers supported our family when we needed it most.”

A registration fee applies. For further information, or to register for training to be a Hospice volunteer, contact Community Care Hospice Services at 705-879-4123, or e-mail

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