Our Butterfly Volunteer Service completes 1,000 visits


Our Butterfly Volunteer Service, led by Caroline Stevens, Butterfly Volunteer Service Co-ordinator, hit 1,000 visits last Friday (3 December).

“It is my absolute pleasure to be the Co-ordinator who oversees the Butterfly Volunteers. The volunteers are such a wide and varied group of individuals who all share the same special characteristics of kindness, thoughtfulness and an unflappable nature that allows them to carry out such an emotionally demanding role. I am constantly humbled by everything they continue to give to the role,” said Caroline.

Mary Dolding was the Butterfly Volunteer who was there for the 1,000th visit. Mary started her volunteering on 21 July 2019 when it was first introduced to the Trust.

“I became interested in this new service after seeing it being advertised around the hospital. I was already volunteering in other roles at the NNUH. After a very rewarding career as a nurse and some personal experience of loss and bereavement of my own, I knew how important end-of-life time is and I just hoped to be able to make a difference in a small way for others,” said Mary.

“I find every visit is so special. I know it is such a team effort and that with the training and the amazing support from the co-ordinator and her colleagues, it makes it such a privilege to be part of this service.”

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse, is a patron of the Anne Robson Trust which introduced the service to our hospital back in 2019.

“The introduction of the Butterfly Volunteers is something close to my heart. As Patron of the Anne Robson Trust, I am determined to ensure that we afford our patients the best possible end of life care, especially not dying alone. The Butterflies bring solace, tender care that each patient can feel, even if they are not conscious, and above all, time at the patient’s bedside. Their contribution epitomises compassion and empathy and the care we want every patient to receive.”

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