Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Well-being when it matters most

On Tuesday 6 October the Parkes Palliative Care Volunteers undertook a 3 hour workshop ‘Well-being When it Matters Most’.

Volunteer Coordinator Tony Fisher says it has been a difficult year all round and volunteers have been missing participating in their usual roles, “After months of interruption to normal service delivery and enforced social distancing due to COVID it was great to finally be able to bring our group together and really put the focus on them.”

The workshop was a timely reminder of the importance of self care and volunteers enjoyed its practical nature. Content focussed on resilience, the psychology of stress, strengths and risks as a volunteer including compassion fatigue and burnout. Central to the workshop was how to maintain boundaries when in a caring role by understanding the tricky dance between Professional Friend and Friendly Professional.

Volunteers enjoyed the heavily interactive nature of the workshop and broke up into smaller groups to explore strengths and obstacles, challenging self-care practices, and how to overcome the inevitable and embedded guilt that can experienced when prioritising self care. They concluded that the practice of self-care is necessary for their group to be able to perform at a high level and a critical part of this means giving time to seeking out the things that “refill our cup” and “keep us on our game”.

Registered Psychologist and Business Consultant Carly Fisher facilitated the workshop. She brought with her compassion, empathy and evidence based practice to share and delivered content in a gentle, exploratory and informative manner.

“The volunteers had a great time at the workshop. They connected well with Carly straight away and enjoyed being challenged by the ideas and working things out together,” said Tony. “Now they have a bunch of practical strategies to use in the future.”

“They have learnt how to take the small meaningful steps that make a big difference for their own well-being and so be better able to help their clients and families – when it matters most.”

Photo:

Top left: Parkes volunteers at the workshop with Carly Fisher

Bottom left: Workshop facilitator Carly Fisher, Volunteer Coordinator Tony Fisher

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