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Time commitment:   

Able to offer a visit of 1 – 3 hours per week

About the role:

The aim of the Mountbatten Neighbour is to reach out to and visit people with a life-limiting illness to offer companionship, reduce isolation and assist them in gaining the appropriate support to meet their needs. The befriender will, where appropriate, encourage the person to talk about and share what is important for them and improve confidence in understanding choices at the end of life. The role can provide a valuable break for carers and family, helping reduce the strain and allowing them to continue their caring role.

Mountbatten Neighbours aims to encourage people and communities to talk about death, dying, bereavement and loss, to enable people to share their preferences and wishes about the future and to support each other in practical and emotional ways.

Life-limiting illnesses may include cancer, heart failure, respiratory conditions and other late-stage diseases. This role will work with adults of any age in the last years of life whose health may deteriorate. The role may continue for a short time after an individual’s death to support carers or family members.

Key tasks:

Visit people with life-limiting illnesses, their carers and families.

Provide one-to-one companionship, listening and support, which could include:

  • Supporting taking part in social activities such as crafts, board games or walking around the garden,
  • Participating in discussions and helping people find a comfortable way of discussing their wishes and preferences for the end of life,
  • Helping them stay connected to others, eg, family or community,
  • Accompany to social groups or local venues such as cafes,
  • Signposting to other support services,
  • Help with small practical tasks such as making a drink.

Tasks not undertaken by Mountbatten Neighbours:

  • Personal care – including assisting someone in using the toilet or to wash
  • Nursing care/tasks, including giving medication
  • Give advice or counselling
  • Large practical tasks that require moving or lifting heavy items, heavy gardening, or that require specialist skills such as DIY or plumbing

 Skills and experience required:

  • Commitment and reliability – able to offer a visit of 1 – 3 hours per week
  • Empathetic and sensitive approach
  • Excellent listening and communication skills and ability to build a positive rapport with others
  • Understand the importance of strict confidentiality
  • Be clear about the boundaries of the role and the service
  • Confident in your ability to undertake a role that may be emotionally challenging at times
  • Respect for others regardless of their race, gender, culture, religion, disability, sexual orientation or marital status
  • Understand the ethos and philosophy of the Mountbatten Neighbours project

Training and support:

  • Anyone interested in volunteering will be invited to an initial interview
  • Volunteers will be required to attend an initial training programme and then a post-training interview
  • Regular review/support meetings will be offered, providing an opportunity to offer feedback and reflect on your volunteer experience
  • Additional update information, send out as appropriate to increase volunteer knowledge
  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be undertaken before commencing training

Ready to apply?

Apply online

Not sure yet?

Chat with our friendly team to see if this role is right for you. Call us on 01983 217304 or email us.