07/06/2023 | Press releases

‘The role is a privilege and I feel fortunate’

A community nurse who gives up her free time to offer comfort to end of life patients has described the role as a privilege.

Lucy Warnes (pictured) became a Butterfly volunteer at Ipswich Hospital around 18 months ago, and will sit with patients and offer support to their families in the last days of life.

She has spoken about her role during Volunteers’ Week, which runs until today (7 June) in the hope that others may be inspired to follow her lead.

“My background is community nursing and one of the areas I am most passionate about is end of life care,” said Lucy, who currently works with ESNEFT’s leg ulcer team. “I love my job but do miss offering support to end of life patients and their families, which is why I decided to volunteer.

“For me, the role is a privilege and I feel fortunate to be able to spend time with these patients and listen to what they want to talk about. It has also changed the way I view certain aspects of my life after one patient said that you only live once and must learn to enjoy it the very best you can.

“If patients are feeling well enough to chat, I love hearing about their family. I’ve learnt a lot and enjoyed laughing with patients too. I believe that having company in hospital from someone who has the time to sit, listen or quietly read a story can bring comfort.

“I think that you need to be a good listener, empathic and kind to be a Butterfly volunteer. Training is available and new starters can shadow other volunteers until they are comfortable visiting patients on their own, plus the team is very friendly and supportive and always that the end of the phone if you need them.”

ESNEFT’s Butterfly volunteers are funded by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity. Anyone who is interested in finding out more can call 07342 074790 or email butterfly.volunteers@esneft.nhs.uk

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