Marie Curie Helper is a free service that provides trained volunteers who visit a person living with any terminal illness to give them and their loved ones companionship and emotional support.
Marie Curie Helper volunteers give around three hours a week of their time to offer a friendly ear, engaging in supportive conversation, providing information about local services and enabling carers and family members to have a break for a few hours. The service offers essential company, helping to reduce isolation and loneliness. Where possible, Helper volunteers can assist people to make short trips into the local community too.
While the Marie Curie Helper service has previously been available in other parts of the UK, it is now being developed across the whole of Wakefield district after its successful launch across Bradford. By the end of the year it will be available across the whole of West Yorkshire.
Volunteers receive excellent training and will be reimbursed travel expenses. As the service is available 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm it provides flexibility too. So whether you work, study, support your family or are retired there should be an opportunity for you, at a time to suit you.
Dianne Hughes, an existing Marie Curie Helper volunteer from neighbouring Kirklees, explains why she became involved: “I’ve been a nurse for many years, more recently a Marie Curie Nurse. When I retired I knew that I still had a lot to give and when I heard about the Helper service I offered to be involved straight away. I have been visiting a family for several months now and it is a privilege to be able to visit each week. I’d encourage anyone to consider becoming a Marie Curie Helper volunteer as I know how much the service is needed across West Yorkshire. You don’t have to have any nursing experience and it’s very rewarding.”
Andrew Oldham, Marie Curie Helper Service Manager, adds: “We’re delighted that Marie Curie Helper is going to be available across Wakefield and surrounding areas. We are regularly told that a befriending service like this is so important, especially for people living with a terminal illness and their carers who may feel particularly isolated. The service is free and our Helper volunteers visit weekly for up to three hours, enabling carers to have a short break. Please give us your gift of time so we can support as many people as possible.”
To offer your gift of time:
Apply online: www.mariecurie.org.uk/helper
For more information contact: Andrew Oldham, Helper Service Manager Andrew.Oldham@mariecurie.org.uk