“Volunteers are a crucial part of the comprehensive care and support we bring our patients and their families,” said Michael Milward, chief executive officer, Hospice of Santa Cruz County. “The efforts of our volunteers help us fulfill our mission. We are fortunate to have committed volunteers and we are seeking more individuals to serve in this important role."
Last year HSCC served over 850 people. More than 100 volunteers played an active role in providing companionship, emotional support, caregiver respite, practical support and clerical assistance.
“Each of our volunteers provides a unique offering of interests, skills, talents and life experiences, said Radha Mallery, volunteer services manager, Hospice of Santa Cruz County. “We match each volunteer’s role with his or her personal goals, skills, and interests. Our volunteers often tell us that this is the most rewarding and fulfilling role they ever played.”
Volunteering takes no advanced medical training. It can be as simple as reading to a patient, running errands to help a busy family caregiver or speaking with a patient to ease their mind and console their spirit.
Like, retired professor Chuck Atkinson, a HSCC volunteer for the past five years. Atkinson discovered Hospice of Santa Cruz when he retired from teaching at UC Santa Cruz and attended HSCC volunteer training.
“At first I was unsure about what to expect. But I felt HSCC was a place where I could be with people supporting others on the front lines at the end of life,” said Atkinson. “To be a HSCC volunteer has really upped the ante. It’s helped me be more present for others and for myself.”
“Its really about small deeds of kindness that so profoundly enhance the lives of our patients and those who love them,” said Mallery. “All of our patient care volunteers will receive training that will support them in the skills they need for their volunteer role. Our next training session begins in September and we encourage individuals who are interested to complete an application.”
HCSC volunteer training begins September 27. Training is held at the Hospice of Santa Cruz County office, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley. Applications are being accepted through September 17. Applications are available on HSCC’s website at www.hospicesantacruz.org.
Hospice of Santa Cruz County is the oldest and only non-profit hospice serving Santa Cruz and northern Monterey counties. Since 1978 we have cared for more than 14,000 individuals facing seri ous illness and their families. We help people live better by providing care, comfort, support, enhancing dignity and support ing personal choices on how to live with their illness.