Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme

Leanne Blaker

Leanne joined the South West Sydney LHD Palliative Care Volunteer Service a year ago to ‘‘give back’’ to the team that gave invaluable care to her mother-in-law when she was at the end of her life.

She now travels across the Macarthur district offering community-based support to families accessing palliative care. ‘‘I had such a positive experience with the palliative care team, they made such a difference to my mother-in-law that I wanted to give back.”

Leanne provides respite support and assistance to attend appointments for two hours a week.

‘‘Long term illness places such a strain on families and carers, financially and emotionally. We can come in and give carers some respite and give the patient companionship and alleviate some of the stress that families face.’’

 ‘‘You start as strangers but you very quickly become an intimate part of their life. Illness can be socially isolating so it’s the little things you can offer that make a difference and when you receive thanks you realise this why you do this work,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a privilege to be there for them and offer that support.’’

Leanne describes South Western Sydney LHD as ‘‘one of most supportive organisations I have been part of.’’

(With thanks to the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser)

Leanne Blaker Sept 2014