Volunteers are the heart of Hospice Northwest. We have over 200 palliative care companions in Thunder Bay and the region. They come from many different backgrounds and many have experienced loss in their own lives; all want to give of themselves in helpful ways.
Those interested in becoming Hospice Northwest volunteers are carefully screened to ensure that they possess sensitivity, compassion, excellent communication skills and a desire to be of service to others. Once accepted into the program, each volunteer completes a provincially mandated training course lasting approximately 36 hours, which is delivered by a richly diverse group of community professionals in the field.
The classes are designed to help prepare new volunteers for visiting people who are living with a life limiting or terminal illness or coping with grief. Upon completion of the course, the volunteers are matched with clients to become companions on their journey through illness. Criteria such as location, interests and time requirements are used to form appropriate matches between volunteers and clients. Therapeutic relationships are then established to enhance the clients' quality of life as they define it, to help them live life to the fullest.