Greater Trail Hospice is seeking volunteers. Training sessions run Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, then again Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. All four sessions are required to complete the training. (Image: Thinkstock)

Greater Trail hospice seeks volunteers

Training sessions are slated over two weekends in September

Greater Trail Hospice is asking for your help a few hours a week, or even a few hours a month.

Hospice visits homes from Rossland to Rosspur throughout the year, and each fall puts a request out to those with a heart for volunteering and a calling to comfort others in their time of need.

Volunteer training sessions are being held over four days in the Kiro Wellness Centre beginning Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 then again on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30. Friday meetings are half days, 5-8:30 p.m. and the two Saturdays are full days, 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. All four sessions are required to complete the training.

“Everyone gets the same training,” explains volunteer coordinator Tina Ihas.

“You’ll learn about communication and the physical things people experience as well as the emotional things they experience. You’ll get some tools to deal with that, and how to work effectively with the people,” she added. “We have a pretty good success rate with our training – the vast majority of our volunteers that do go through the training stick with volunteering with hospice in some aspect.”

Greater Trail Hospice currently has 30-plus volunteers on its roster, but more are needed, and not just for home visits.

“That may sound like a lot,” says Ihas. “But we have some who volunteer a lot, some who volunteer a little, and some who only come into the office -so it’s a wide variety of skills and mind sets we are looking for.”

Ihas reminds those interested that there is no time commitment to volunteer with the Greater Trail organization.

“If you want to do it once a month or even once every few months or every time we have a client -we don’t require a specific time commitment like some hospices do.”

For those who do chose to volunteer with hospice, the benefit can be very rewarding.

“It’s such an honour to be with someone at such an intimate time in their life,” she said. “That’s what all our volunteers say – the ones that do chose (to sit with a hospice client) get a lot of peace from it.”

Hospice training is sponsored by Columbia Basin Trust, however there is a nominal fee attached to the sessions.

“We charge $30 which is basically a commitment fee,” Ihas said. “But for that, they get amazing training from two highly respected professionals … the course materials, and lunch, dinner and snacks.”

For more information and to sign up for the training sessions, call 250.364.6204 or email info@trailhospice.org.

Hospice supports quality of living while in the process of dying, and healthy transition through grief for the bereaved.

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