The workshop challenged our preconceptions of hospice care and of death and dying.
This is a programme for 14-17 year olds from the local community volunteering for a six month period in the hospice. The programme challenged preconceptions around supporting end of life, and of young people volunteering in a difficult and challenging clinical environment.
The programme offers hands on experience for young people interested in a career in health. The hospice advertised the programme locally through schools (both private and comprehensive) . At the end of the programme participants had worked towards and achieve their Care Certificates, attended a meet the medics event, gained a certificate, attended an awards event and were given a reference.
The young people volunteered in a variety of ways:
- Hand massage
- Emptied catheter bags
- Learned to make tea
- Shadowed the drugs round
- Restocked rooms and tidied
- Answered call bells
- Helped with patient meals and drinks
- Watched a cornea harvest
- Witnessed care after death and visiting the mortuary.
Overall the programme workshop was incredibly inspiring. It’s a fantastic example of challenging our preconceptions around young people volunteering. It challenged my ideas in terms of their resilience and motivation and of the roles they can undertake in a healthcare environment and wider contribution they can make and impact they can have on our patients.
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