The Anne Robson Trust partners with acute hospitals to help them set up and run teams of ‘end of life’ volunteers.
We have extensive experience of working with hospitals with differing requirements and at different stages of set-up.
We are perfectly placed to help you get your service up and running, quickly and efficiently.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted not only the challenges of delivering personal care with empathy, but also its high value to recipients.
Trained volunteers can play a crucial role in making this personalised care possible.
End of life volunteers can:
What’s more, the simple act of volunteering also benefits the volunteers themselves, contributing positively to their own health and sense of wellbeing.
We like to call end of life volunteers ‘Butterfly Volunteers’, because butterflies are thought to represent endurance, change and hope and are recognised as a symbol of palliative care.
No one should die alone: volunteer
support for patients dying in hospital
Shahid Sardar, Associate Director of Patient Experience.
Butterfly Volunteers could bring a range of benefits to patients dying in your hospital, simply by having time to:
Managing bereavement and end-of-life care remains a huge challenge for the NHS. Without the help of the voluntary sector it would be impossible.
The Anne Robson Trust is in the vanguard of this work, with their unique approach, training and understanding. I’m full of admiration for what they achieve and so grateful that they do.
We know that no two hospitals are the same. We will work with you from beginning to end, helping you design and deliver the best end of life volunteer project for your hospital.
This could include:
*We believe best practice is for a dedicated volunteers coordinator to be recruited to set up and manage the team of end of life volunteers and build / develop the service.
However, we are flexible and understand that this may not suit every trust.
We are currently offering this service to acute NHS trusts completely free of charge.
If you’re thinking of partnering with the Anne Robson Trust to develop an end of life volunteering service for your trust, here are some answers to questions you may have.
A well thought-out project with hospital approval can be easily implemented and up and running within a matter of months.
Support is designed to suit individual hospitals, with a bespoke project plan for each trust depending on identified needs.
This could include:
At the Anne Robson Trust, we like to use the name Butterfly Volunteers because butterflies are thought to represent endurance, change and hope and are recognised as a symbol of palliative care.
Some of the hospitals we work with choose to call their end of life volunteers Butterflies; others prefer to use a different title.
“Our ward staff look after lots of patients who are nearing the end of life. They would like to spend more time with each patient but sadly this isn’t always possible, so having the Butterfly Volunteers here has been a great support to the staff as well as the patients and relatives.”
Ward Manager, Princess Alexandra Hospital
“The Butterfly Volunteers are such a valuable team of individuals who support patients at the end of their lives and their relatives / carers. Their support on the wards really makes a difference to the staff too – knowing that patients are not left on their own to die.”
Macmillan Clinical Lead for Specialist Palliative Care, Princess Alexandra Hospital
“It was so wonderful to chat with the Butterfly Volunteer when she arrived on the ward.
We had been sitting by Dad’s bed for hours and really needed to take a break, but couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him alone. She was so kind, we were able to go and get a coffee and some headspace knowing Dad had company.
A fantastic, much needed service. Thank you.”
Patient’s relative, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
As spring 2020 turned to summer, we realised that the original vision for our service in hospitals would need to be adapted to work with the ‘new normal’.
Covid-19 was not going away anytime soon. If we were only going to be able to offer limited support to patients by their bedside, how could we support their families?
This is where the idea for Family Hubs came from.
We are working closely with our partner hospitals to identify and secure funding to cover the setup costs of these Family Hubs.
We are proud that we were able to support a successful bid to NHS Charities Together for the hub at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.
We have developed further training for the Butterfly Volunteer teams already working at our partner hospitals, so that they will be well equipped to support families in this new Family Hub environment.
Whilst the pandemic restrictions remain in place, setting up new schemes is challenging, but we are committed to working with our partner hospitals in any way we can.
Butterfly Volunteers give my role as Chief Nurse greater meaning, purpose and resolve. End of life patients and their families need time, which Butterfly Volunteers have. The Anne Robson Trust provides a core service to compliment an already over-stretched NHS