Paediatric palliative care volunteers represent about 10% of all palliative care volunteers in NSW. They often work off-site from the hospital, visiting families at home who have a child or children with life-limiting illnesses.
The volunteer role includes playing with unwell children or their siblings, helping with outings to the shops or park, providing light practical assistance around the house or garden or being a listening ear in a time of need.
Volunteers also provide support within the Bear Cottage children’s hospice in Manly (NSW). Read more about the experience of the volunteers at Bear Cottage in our report Paediatric palliative care: A survey of a hospice volunteer service (2016).
Unlike most adults who receive palliative care, unwell children may receive palliative care for many months or years. This means that a volunteer assigned to one family may be involved for a long period of time with that family.
Your volunteers will find more information about paediatric palliative care volunteering by reading Chapter 12 of Palliare: A Handbook for Palliative Care Volunteers in NSW (2018) which is available for free download on the VolunteerHub website (print copies can be ordered through us).
Every year in March a Paediatric Palliative Care Symposium is held by the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.