News

Karen Jaques recognised for outstanding achievement

  • by Kate Bowman
  • May 21, 2024

Karen Jaques is one of four palliative care volunteers recognised for outstanding achievement this National Volunteer and National Palliative Care Week.

Karen has volunteered with the Sydney Local Health District’s Palliative Care Service for just over 10 years and during this time she has worked across both Canterbury and Concord Hospitals.

Karen has worked with many patients in the community, young and old. Every patient or family that she has worked with has praised her ability to build rapport. She has a unique ability to adapt to all cultures and backgrounds with grace and acceptance.

During the past 5 years, Karen has focused on the Biography Program, taking on a mentor role to other Biographers, sharing her knowledge and experience.

Karen is intelligent, funny, and has a generous spirit. She is an example of a precious volunteer who acts far from precious. Sydney LHD say they are lucky to have her as part of their team and welcome this opportunity to acknowledge her hard work.

Karen was kind enough to tell us a a bit about herself and her volunteering.

Please tell us about your volunteer role and the activities you engage in at your service.
I am currently doing biographies at Concord Hospital and have also trained volunteers in the same role. Prior to that I worked for many years at Canterbury Hospital assisting patients and their families in palliative care

What prompted you to volunteer in palliative care?
After suffering my own personal losses and experiencing the fallout first hand I felt I wanted to give back and support others in crisis. At that time I was studying to be a grief counsellor and volunteering gave me more insights into care required.

What do you enjoy most about being a palliative care volunteer?
I love the interaction with people, hearing their stories, the lives they have lived and being in such an incredible personal space with patients and their families is a privilege.

Please tell us about a time you had a particularly inspiring volunteering experience.
Watching other volunteers who have had so much experience and how they have made such a difference to people who are confronted with their own mortality has been inspiring.

Please share some words of wisdom for fellow volunteers.
Treat each patience with courage, listen, learn, become the gatherer of information and use it to support them at this incredibly important journey they are on, being there for them solely, making them valued and special.

What would you say to someone who might be thinking about becoming a palliative care volunteer?
To be on the journey with someone who is challenged physically, emotionally and spiritually is incredibly insightful and personally extremely rewarding. Building bonds and friendships at this time feeds one’s soul. Making a difference is a blessing.

Congratulations on your well-earned award, Karen. We certainly appreciate your hard work and compassion.

Upcoming Events

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – September meeting
UPCOMING
  • SEPTEMBER 12, 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – September meeting

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

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NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – December meeting & Christmas lunch
UPCOMING
  • DECEMBER 12, 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – December meeting & Christmas lunch

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

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