Oakhaven Neighbours is our volunteer-led helping hand service for patients and their families
Neighbours is a free volunteer-led service available to Oakhaven Hospice patients and their families, also via GP surgery Care Navigators. Neighbours can offer companionship and lend a helping hand in the home with everyday tasks that can become overwhelming when living with a life-limiting illness.
Oakhaven Neighbours: volunteers offering help and companionship
Neighbours get involved with a variety of things, for example, picking up prescriptions, light shopping, gardening, accompanying for walks, trips out and companionship or maybe sitting with a patient so that the carer can take a much-needed break, safe in the knowledge that their loved one is in good hands.
Neighbours are highly trained and supported by the clinical team at the hospice.
Keith explained what having a Neighbour meant to him
"Living alone with a life-changing illness can be challenging. Fortunately, I have discovered a ‘secret weapon’ – one which makes a real difference to my daily grind – I have an Oakhaven Neighbour! It’s an apt title - the very word itself conjures up images of a friendly presence in times of need. There for you but unobtrusive, that kind of thing.
Having a Hospice Neighbour means so much to people like me who are no longer able to carry out certain basic tasks and it helps immeasurably to maintain the important goal of self-reliance and independent living. I cannot stress this enough."
An Oakhaven Neighbour describes what being a Neighbour means to him:
"Being an Oakhaven Neighbour has given me a sense of making a small contribution to our society - ‘giving something back’, if you will. It involves a regular weekly commitment which is not onerous at all (two to three hours) but which does not feel like a ‘commitment’ but rather becomes a welcome part of my regular routine. Without the need for committee meetings, minutes, fundraising and formalities it provides a direct and tangible way of helping
"At the same time, the Oakhaven Neighbours scheme provides great support through my team leader, the scheme’s coordinator and comprehensive training programmes. In my case, I was assigned to a gentleman who, together with his wife, became great friends over nearly two years of visiting. I felt that I became accepted as a small cog in the overarching support services provided by Oakhaven.
"Inevitably, whilst we shared many family stories and of course good times including a Toasted Teacakes Tour in the early months, we also shared many challenges. It is a measure of the privilege I was granted by this lovely family that I saw them at their best and at their most difficult times. My gentleman’s wife described me as his buddy when she introduced me to their close-knit family. It is a succinct way of summarising what being a Neighbour means to me and what it meant to him."
Volunteer and be a part of something special
Do you have a couple of hours to spare to help someone with the shopping, take them for a coffee or maybe stay at home with them whilst their carer goes out to run an errand?
Being a Neighbour is incredibly rewarding. You will be giving something back to the community in a way that is hugely appreciated by patients and their families.
If you would like to know more about the scheme and becoming an Oakhaven Neighbour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org