Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Background paper responds to the growing interest in residential community hospice in NSW

Alex Huntir, Manager of the Volunteer Support Services Program, has recently looked at the experience of community hospice in the US, UK and NZ and asked ‘what is it that makes community hospice so different?’

“The term ‘hospice’ is not as popular these days in Australia for naming organisations and services. But when you look at the narrative meanings of ‘hospice’ the term is rich in meanings of community-control, individual-focus, inclusion, kindness and compassion.”

“Community hospice has solid community support in the UK and NZ. The picture is slightly less-clear in the US because of their funding model. In NZ the hospice sector averages about 332 volunteers per service, and in the UK the figure is closer to 625 volunteers.”

Currently NSW has one community hospice, Wedgetail Retreat, operated by Tweed Palliative Support in the Tweed Valley just north of Murwillumbah which is one of the largest palliative care volunteer groups in the state. The Southern Highlands Community Hospice are actively fundraising and developing plans for a residential service in the Bowral area. SHCH currently supports about 250 volunteers.

“We want to see quality palliative care for everyone in NSW. And we want to champion and support the work of palliative care volunteers in NSW. Growth in the community hospice could lead to a dramatic increase in the number and activity of volunteers. So we are keen to be supportive and involved early-on.”

Follow the link below to download Part 1 of the report. Part 2 of the report will be released soon.

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