Share the gift of friendship this year

Could you spread some cheer by sparing an hour a week to support someone in your local community who’s nearing the end of their life?

St Clare Hospice runs a Compassionate Neighbours programme. They match volunteers to members of the community who are experiencing loneliness as a result of healthcare needs. The hospice is appealing for volunteers to come forward to help end social isolation within the West Essex and East Herts area.

The programme is one of the ways St Clare helps its local communities to become more resilient. They help individuals to support each other and remain independent for as long as possible. Volunteers meet up with their match on a weekly basis as part of a mutually-beneficial friendship. They help community members overcome barriers resulting from their ill-health, such as not being able to get out of the house or a lack of confidence.

Stacey Towler, Compassionate Neighbours Project Manager, says: “Volunteering for St Clare Hospice is a great way of giving something back to your local charity that supports people at one of the most difficult times in their life.

“By sparing just an hour a week to visit someone in your community, you can help to tackle loneliness in your local area. Visiting someone who is lonely is about not only offering a listening ear and having a cup of tea; it is also incredibly empowering for that individual too.”

Becoming a Compassionate Neighbour involves enrolling on a two-day training course. You will learn more about the project and how to make the most from the role.

For more information, and to apply to join the team, visit St Clare’s website.

If you know someone who may benefit from a visit from a Compassionate Neighbour, please contact Stacey Towler on 01279 773729 to make a referral.

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