End of life patients are once again being supported by a group of ‘Butterfly’ volunteers at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.
The volunteers have returned to the hospitals now some restricted around Coronavirus (COVID-19) have eased.
Patients who are dying may enjoy having a friendly face to sit with them, read to them or talk to them.
Emi Boboe, Butterfly volunteer coordinator for Colchester Hospital, said they provide a welcome support in the last few days and hour of someone’s life.
She said: “If someone is dying, the Butterfly Volunteers can sit with them and just be quiet if that’s what they want. Some patients don’t have anyone – they don’t have family or friends able to visit, so it’s nice there is someone if they would like.
“We are there for the patient, but also the family too. We offer to sit with a person so their loved one can take a break. They may say no, but it’s important they have support too.”
Every volunteer is trained for the role and can liaise with the nursing staff about the patient too.
Emi said if a person’s family lives a long way away, they can talk to them on the phone and reassure them.
Emi added: “It’s comforting for them to know there’s someone sitting with them.
“It’s a privilege to be with someone at the end of their life. It can also be emotional and every volunteer is given support before and after their three-hour shift. We check in to make sure they’re OK on a regular basis.”
Emi and her colleague Pam Talman, based at Ipswich Hospital, are funded by the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity. Through Coronavirus (COVID-19) volunteering in the hospital had to pause, and with that change many of the Butterfly Volunteers were not able to continue their role, but Emi said they’ve been busy recruiting extra volunteers and now have 35 volunteers across Ipswich, Colchester and Aldeburgh hospitals.
Due to continuing Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety restrictions, many other volunteer services currently remained paused across ESNEFT hospitals.
If you would like to contact the Butterfly Volunteer Team you can email: Butterfly.email@example.com
If you are interested in volunteering as a Butterfly Volunteer email: Volunteers@esneft.nhs.ukBack to top