Initially, part of a research project run by Lancaster University with Hospice UK, the Befriending Service has now been running since May 2015 and is proving to be a much-needed service within the Hampshire Hospitals’ communities.
The research project ended in March 2016 and the final report of the findings showed that regular visits from a Befriender to someone with a chronic or life-limiting illness actually slowed down their rate of decline. These referrals come from a variety of teams – from GP surgeries, Early Stroke Discharge Teams, Palliative Care Teams and local Hospices to Community Independence Teams.
Our focus is to support people who are suffering from a Chronic or Life Limiting illness and are lonely or isolated. We also support patients who are deemed to be frail, with poor mobility, may be prone to falls and find leaving the house difficult.
We have trained Befrienders, covering Andover, Winchester, Basingstoke and Alton areas. Our Befrienders are matched with a patient who is local to them, who they then visit, at the patient’s home, for up to 2 hours a week. They are not expected to do any personal care or household tasks, but just spend quality time talking or enjoying a small walk or trip out for a coffee. All our volunteers have to complete 2 days of training and require a DBS check.
As our patient numbers continue to grow, so does our need for volunteers. If you think you would like to join our service, please get in touch with Caroline Nash – or telephone 01264 835293
A counsellor is available at the hospice, to provide psychological support to patients and their relatives. Referrals to the counsellor can be made through the hospice team. People are offered courses of up to 6-8 sessions.
The Chaplaincy Team
Chaplains offer a compassionate presence supporting patients, families, visitors and staff during times of emotional or spiritual crisis. They are available to offer spiritual, religious and emotional support to all patients, visitors and staff, regardless of faith. The aim is to come alongside people as they struggle with illness, injury or their own mortality.