Phyllis Tuckwell Companions Support Dying Patients

“We all concentrate on how we’re born, but we don’t think about how we’re going to die.” These words, from the wife of one of Phyllis Tuckwell’s patients, express the importance of how and where a person dies, and who is with them.

Phyllis Tuckwell supports patients who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, and cares for them through to their death, whether they choose to die in the charity’s In-Patient Unit or in their own home or care home. One of the services it offers, and is looking to expand, is that of Pastoral Care Companions. These are volunteers who sit with patients who are at the end of their life, providing comfort and support to them and their families, and helping to make their death gentle and dignified.

“Our Pastoral Care Companions offer a unique and really important service to patients who are in their last hours of life,” said Jill Thornton, from Phyllis Tuckwell’s Pastoral Care team. “Being by someone’s side when they are dying, and helping to make sure their last moments are peaceful and that they feel reassured and comforted, is a very special thing to do.”

Phyllis Tuckwell is looking for volunteers to join its team of Pastoral Care Companions and will be holding a recruitment event on Saturday 4th November, from 9.30am to 2pm, at its temporary offices at Headway House in Farnham, GU9 7XG. If you have completed Soul Midwifery (Level 1) or End of Life Doula training (Foundation Level), or if you’ve worked in end of life care, and you would like to find out more about this role, Phyllis Tuckwell would like to invite you to apply to attend.

The event will start with a meet and greet, after which Phyllis Tuckwell’s Pastoral Care team will give an overview of the team and the charity as a whole. There will be a Q&A session and attendees will be told more about the Pastoral Care Companion role. They will also be given some potential scenarios that they may be faced with in this role, and will be asked how they would respond.

The Pastoral Care Companion role is a voluntary one, comprising one shift of 5pm to 8pm per month. It is based at Phyllis Tuckwell’s 10-bed In-Patient Unit, which is currently located at Kings Lodge care home in Camberley, until Phyllis Tuckwell’s new Hospice building in Farnham opens in 2026.

If you would like to attend the event, please contact Phyllis Tuckwell’s Voluntary Services team on 01252 729400 or email [email protected] to request an application form. The closing date for applications to attend the event is Monday 30th October.

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