Mount Druitt’s Supportive and Palliative Care Unit enthusiastically welcomed back its much-loved volunteers on 1 December after five months of suspended face-to-face visits due to the most recent COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Across western Sydney, 50 specially trained palliative care volunteers visit patients with life-limiting illness, providing gentle hand massages, a listening ear and comfort during a difficult time to be alone.
“The volunteers bring warmth, empathy, and compassion to our patients and relieve carers from stress and anxiety when they cannot be with their loved ones,” said Kylie Clark, palliative care volunteer manager at Mount Druitt Palliative Care Unit.
“We are just so delighted to have them back.”
Westmead Hospital will slowly resume its volunteer service from the week of 6 December and Blacktown Hospital will follow in the coming weeks.
I am excited to see how they will continue to enhance the quality of life of patients during this challenging time,”Rebecca Borg, acting nursing unit manager, Mt Druitt Palliative Care Unit
Following a welcome morning tea, the Mount Druitt volunteer’s first job back was to bring the holiday spirit by assembling and decorating the Unit’s Christmas tree.
In 2020, the volunteers developed a “check-in and chat” service to support patients from home. This service seamlessly resumed in July 2021 with clinical staff and volunteers resuming the remote service like a well-oiled machine.
“We are very proud of what’s been achieved remotely, but having the volunteers physically present again and able to engage with patients face-to-face will make a huge difference to the morale in the Unit and across western Sydney,” said Kylie.