A diagnosis of cancer, Motor Neurone Disease or any life-threatening illness can be a terrible shock to the whole family, and it’s sometimes hard to share the emotional burden.
For over 30 years, the Brigitte Trust, our Dorking-based charity named for our founder, Brigitte Watkin, has been offering help to people suffering the effects of cancer and other late-stage illness. Our free service of emotional support and help with practical needs at home focuses on being alongside to listen but includes transport, shopping and even the opportunity for a trip out for tea! It’s preferable for most people to stay at home, with pets and familiar possessions around them, with family and friends nearby. With the help of The Brigitte Trust, it is often possible for a family member to stay at home for much longer. The same volunteer offers 3 hours each week and referrals come from District and hospice nurses, via social care teams or by self-referral. We have almost 100 volunteers now, visiting throughout Surrey and into Horsham and Crawley. Volunteers can also offer ongoing bereavement support of up to three months.
The Trust is funded by Surrey Downs CCG as a supplier of palliative care services, but this funding covers just 25% of our running costs. The rest is raised by donations, legacies and fundraising, which in the current economic downturn is becoming much harder for a local charity such as ours to achieve.
Our nine week training course, plus weekend workshop, prepares our volunteers with essential listening and coping skills as they prepare to visit families facing the challenges of life-threatening illness.
Brigitte Trust volunteers offer support to the wider family too, by listening to carers and supporting them as they share their feelings. The most important part of their work is often to offer their time to listen, without judgment.
Training courses for volunteers take place throughout the year with a “taster session” first where potential volunteers can find out more about our work before deciding to join us. Please call Ingrid Walker on 01306 881816 or visit the Volunteer section of our website: www.brigittetrust.org
Vanessa Smith Promotions Manager
The Brigitte Trust 316 High Street Dorking Surrey RH4 1 QX
Telephone 01306 880862 firstname.lastname@example.org