Candidates for volunteering are asked to submit completed application forms to the following address: email@example.com or in person at the Little Prince’s House. The form can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.
Help in office work (this applies especially to the pre-Christmas period, when we want to thank our Donors for supporting the work at hospice, at least in the form of a symbolic Christmas card).
The last form of volunteering, due to direct contact with terminally ill children and their families, requires a slightly broader discussion. People applying for this form of volunteering take part in an interview and psychological tests.
The purpose of the candidates shortlisting for volunteers is to learn the motives for work in the hospice. Volunteers visiting the children should be of legal age, not in mourning for someone close to them. The personality profile obtained in the tests also is of paramount importance.
After the classes, each volunteer takes care of one child. The first visit takes place in the presence of a psychologist and is preceded by general information about the family and the sick child. During this visit, the expectations of the family and the child regarding the work of the volunteer are discussed. The trial period lasts about 1 month. During this time, the volunteer and the family of our patient have the opportunity to observe each other, check whether what the volunteer does suits both parties. Most often, the trial period ends with the volunteer signing an annual contract with the Hospice. After this period, it is possible to extend the contract, which is done by most of our volunteers. The contract itself is legal and defines the duties and privileges of the volunteers.
A volunteer visits a patient once a week (reports from meetings are placed in a folder designated for this purpose). In most cases, the work of volunteers consists of organizing free time for the child, play in various forms, depending on the limitations caused by the disease. Sometimes, parents may expect to be helped or relieved of certain household chores in order to devote this time only to their sick child. Some families also need a volunteer to help healthy siblings, e.g. with homework.
Due to the strains resulting from contact with a terminally ill child and his family, the volunteer contacts a psychologist at least once a month. This could be a group meeting (once a month a Holy Mass for volunteers is organized and a joint meeting immediately afterwards) or an individual one (upon request of a volunteer). Experience has taught us that such direct monitoring of the volunteers’ work prevents difficulties that they may have not only rooted in contact with our patient and his family, but also in his personal life. We are not indifferent to what happens to our volunteers in private lives and if we can, we are happy to offer them advice and help. In addition to the psychologist, the direct guardian of the volunteers is also the chaplain with whom the volunteers can share their fears and doubts of a spiritual nature.
A training and integration trip takes place at least once a year. Somewhere in a charming place there is time for workshops, conversations by the fire, fun and time to relax. Volunteers and carers anticipate these trips…
Our volunteers are mostly young people, students, but also a large group consists of people in their prime, pursuing their professional and family lives. The mere fact of applying for volunteering shows sensitivity to other people’s misfortune. Many volunteers, after their experience in serving our patients and their families, are of the opinion that by giving their free time they receive much, much more in return…
As a hospice team, we are open to any suggestions and comments from volunteers regarding the functioning of our facility. Their ideas and enthusiasm for work do not allow us to get stuck in the “grounds of routine”.