Heather Richardson, joint CEO of St Christopher’s Hospice in London, spoke at the recent Palliative Care Victoria conference on volunteering, community engagement and palliative care.
Heather challenged the audience to think of volunteers not as a workforce component, but rather as a bridge between community and specialist palliative care.
She highlighted the importance of engaging with volunteers as the first part of a broader community engagement strategy, one that will have not only relational but also economic benefits for the local community such as by discouraging over-professionalisation of palliative care services.
She encouraged services to re-imagine their volunteers as a force for local change.
St Christopher’s Hospice is one of the largest UK hospices with an annual turnover of about £19M and service delivery to about 6,000 people a year.
Pic: Heather Richardson, joint CEO of St Christopher’s Hospice in London.