Respite Care Volunteers

Little Haven Respite Care Volunteers play an important role in providing caring support for individuals with terminal illness and their families. 

Our trained respite volunteers provide in-home support and companionship to our clients and their carers. Our volunteers are available to give carers a break either during the day or for overnight to help relieve the stress experienced by carers and provide.

Our respite volunteers offer assistance by:

  • Providing respite care which enables families to have time out for sleep, work, or just to take a break.
  • Being available to talk, allowing people visited to express their feelings and concerns.
  • Offering help with practical tasks, e.g. light housework, shopping.

Volunteers are between the age of 18 and 80, are in good general health, and have not experienced a major personal bereavement within the past 12 months.

All volunteers accepted to become in-home respite volunteers are required to have relevant security checks, attend a 2 day training course which includes information about palliative care, the role of a volunteers within the team, self care, and practical skills. Courses are conducted quarterly and an invitation to attend is sent to interested people a few weeks prior to the course. After your application is received, you will be asked to attend a selection interview with our volunteer coordinator.

Volunteers are between the age of 18 and 80, are in good general health, and have not experienced a major personal bereavement within the past 12 months.

Your offer of time may be the deciding factor in enabling a family to keep their loved one at home where they can receive quality care in a familiar environment. You will become part of a friendly, supportive team, increase your personal development and practical skills, and meet some memorable people.

“I just lost my first friend, a lady that I have visited for months.  I was privileged that she welcomed me into her home as a volunteer for Little Haven.  Her family always made me welcome and there was always a cup of tea, a kiss from the dogs, friendly conversation and even an occasional laugh.  There were times when I was sure the doctors had got it wrong and that she would get up and get on with her life. Then there were times when I knew her body was finding it hard to keep up the fight, but it still fought as hard as she could, so that she could have a little more time with those she loved.  I will miss her.  I am so lucky that I got to know her even if for such a short time.  She gave me more than I could ever give her.  I was always asking, “Do you need anything?  Is there something more I can do for you and your family?”  Always the answer was, “No”.  Everyone seemed happy that I just came for a chat and visit and my friend would even get out of bed when I popped in, even if it was painful for her.  What a wonderful gift Little Haven allowed me to share in.  I hope that I was able to bring a little comfort and hope and laughter into her life.  So many people ask me how I can do this.  If they could feel what I feel they would know that I get so much more from this than I ever can give.  I have new friends and was trusted and respected and all of that makes my life richer and fuller.  So for now, I will cry for the loss of my dear friend but I will always be grateful that I was able to share this most precious time with her and her loving family.”

Anne Manson, Little Haven Respite Volunteer 

If you’d like to apply to become a Little Haven volunteer please click here