Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Hospice, French wine and volunteers

When on leave last month VolunteerHub staffer Julie visited the historic Hospices de Beaune in western France, that has been serving as a hospice and hospital since 1452. The hospice is famous for it’s vineyard and annual fundraising wine auction, as promoted on this postcard.

Whether or not they have volunteers is another matter, as volunteering in France is heavily legislated. The 2015 Quality of Death Index report [1] noted that:

… while three institutes offer training to volunteers, regulations mean palliative care units must establish a formal connection with volunteer associations and volunteers are limited in what tasks they can perform. “It’s hard to be a volunteer,” says Dr Anne de la Tour [2]. “The training is too long and there are many things they can’t do.” She cites activities such as organising birthday parties, making flower arrangements or doing the shopping. “And a hospice with a garden can’t have volunteers doing the gardening,” she adds.


[1] The Economist (2015) The 2015 Quality of Death Index: Ranking palliative care across the world
[2] Anne de la Tour, head, Department of Palliative Care and Chronic Pain, Centre Hospitalier V Dupouy, France

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