Volunteers are not there to convert people, to take people over but to be good listeners and effective helpers.
This means being able to tolerate their own anxiety and to be able to stand back many times from their own value systems to allow the client / carers to be free, to be self- determining and to respect the fact that the client / carer is free to reject help at any time?
Volunteers concentrate on the quality of life aspects of care, and bring a focus of normal living to a situation where all else seems to underline a medical crisis.
Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine 1998 pg 21
Qualities looked for in a volunteer
- Non judgemental
- Able to understand and accept the values, beliefs, and the decisions of those when differ from our own values, beliefs and decisions
- Non-proselytizing. Free of the need to convert others to one's spiritual, social, psychological or medical opinions.
- Positive approach to life
- Emotional maturity
- Sensitivity and understanding
- Tolerance and patience
- Tact and discretion
- Listening skills
- Ability to work within a team
- Genuine commitment
- Sense of humour