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A Squeezed Hand and a Smile

Our ART Butterfly Volunteers provide compassionate listening, comfort and companionship for patients in the last few days and hours of life, many of whom have few or no visitors, and would otherwise be alone.

Some patients give very little or sometimes no response to our volunteers, so are we making a difference?


“Sometimes I wonder when I’m with a patient who doesn’t seem to be responding if I’m helping, or if they would really like me to be there if they could say.

Today I had been with a lady for about half an hour without any real response, she had her eyes open but didn’t seem to know that I was there. I had moistened her lips, brushed her hair and held her hand.

Suddenly she squeezed my hand, opened her eyes fully, and gave me a huge smile.

She kept my gaze and responded to a few things that I asked, but over the next few minutes she gradually went back to how she had been when I had arrived. I stayed for a while longer and she remained as she was but I left feeling that for her, for today, my visit had made a difference.”

Carrie, ART Butterfly Volunteer

If you would like to become an ART Butterfly Volunteer, please read our FAQ’s and if you have any other questions contact us here, or support our team by donating here.

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Anne Robson Trust

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