We have chosen Being There Tameside as our organisation of the month for December
Here at Being There Tameside & Glossop
We support people living with cancer and other life limiting illnesses to receive emotional and practical support enabling them to manage their conditions more effectively. With the help of our volunteers we offer two main services to people; Home-Visiting/befriending support and Hospital transport. All our volunteers are trained and come from all walks of life. Some have already supported a family member or friend with a long term health condition and some have personal experience so they understand how difficult and isolating it can be!
Befriending/listening volunteers are matched with a person who is socially isolated and in need of support and use their listening skills and life experience to listen to worries and concerns and give emotional support to those having difficulties managing their illness or diagnosis. They may also offer practical help such as helping someone with their shopping or providing respite sitting to support those with caring responsibilities.
Our Transport volunteers support people needing medical treatment. Our drivers provide an invaluable service to help transport clients to and from hospital and medical appointments and occasionally to Being There social groups. Our drivers use their own vehicles and offer emotional support to people and may occasionally sit and wait with people awaiting treatment.
In 2019 we are hoping to set up a social/peer support group in central Ashton where people can come for a cup of tea and chat and hopefully make new friends along the way. We are looking to recruit volunteers who would be interested in helping out at the group.
Why volunteer with Being There-Tameside and Glossop?
You can make a massive difference to someone facing a challenging diagnosis or dealing with a long term health condition. Supporting someone to share their feelings, worries and concerns can help them to feel less daunted, more confident and more positive. Providing a listening ear and emotional support can make all the difference to someone living in isolation and help them to gain a new perspective or enable them to manage their condition more fully.
Access training and support: You’ll receive training and continued support from your branch manager with one-to-one volunteer supervision enabling you to feedback your experiences and continually shape the service. You can also attend bi-annual volunteer support/social meetings to share your experiences with other volunteers and make new friends.
Giving back: Seeing the difference you can make in someone’s life is wonderful, and a huge confidence boost. Whether you’re looking to get back into work, retrain in a new field or want to give something back to your community, volunteering with Being There is a great experience!
Flexible: Volunteering for Being There will hopefully be a long-term commitment, but we only ask for 2-3 hours of your time each week for befriending/listening and/or group support volunteering and these can be easily fitted around other commitments such as looking after your family, part time work or studies. You can also choose what days/hours you would like to volunteer as a transport driver.
Rewarding: Volunteering with Being There may help you to develop new interests and skills and a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges faced by the people we support. We hope you find that volunteering with us is a mutually rewarding experience where you get as much out of it as the person you support!
Quotes from a volunteer and person supported by Being There:
Diane a recent user of the Being There service says...
“After being diagnosed with cancer a year ago I was travelling quite a distance to attend the Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital for tests and then surgery. This involved a taxi there and (because of the cost) a tram and bus back. I was given details of the Being There service in Tameside and Glossop by the hospital and after having a home visit from the Branch Manager, Suzanne, where we had a lovely chat about my medical history and current difficulties, it was decided that I met the criteria and Being There was able to help me with transport. This proved invaluable as I had to have radiotherapy at the Christie Hospital every day for 3 weeks. The lady volunteer driver, Kath, was a breath of fresh air. She picked me up from my home every day and made sure I got to all my appointments on time and also took me back home. Best of all though, she kept my spirits up throughout the treatment and her company and lively conversation turned each day into an enjoyable and positive experience!”
Kath a Being There volunteer driver says...
“I was asked if I would take Diane to The Christie hospital on a 3 week daily day run of radiotherapy treatment. I said yes and the appointments were through the summer. Each day the times were slightly different but were all around lunchtime. I parked on Cotton Lane facing the main entrance, but now that I have a Being There organisational blue badge; I am allowed to park in disabled bays and that has helped enormously. I accompanied Diane into hospital and I think she appreciated the company and conversation as this helped to take her mind off things. I told her that from past experience the treatment could go quickly and it really did! She did very well and I am sure she enjoyed having someone to talk to about her feelings and worries. It also felt good to know that we are helping people that have no other way of getting to the appointments, except for booking an ambulance which can take a long time as they have to pick up and drop off other patients en route. It is also important that we are playing a vital part in reducing pressure on the ambulance service for non emergency transport. So I feel that I am helping in more ways than one and that feels great!”
In picture: Diane (left) and volunteer Kath ringing the bell at Christie’s after successful treatment!