Young Ambassador Project

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Becoming a Young Ambassador for St Clare is a unique opportunity for young people to support the work of their local Hospice, and gain valuable experience and life skills.
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The Young Ambassador Project is an exceptional opportunity for young people who are interested in a career in medicine, nursing, or healthcare, to gain some practical experience by volunteering on our Inpatient Unit.

We’ll give you a unique insight into the variety of roles required to provide the highest standards of care to patients with life limiting conditions:

  1. You will start off by serving drinks and meals, keeping the ward tidy, and chatting to patients.
  2. You will then progress to supporting our Nursing Assistants in supporting patients with their personal care needs such as washing and dressing, feeding and going to the toilet.
  3. Then you will get to shadow our Registered Nurses as they carry out a range of clinical nursing procedures.
  4. Finally, if your intention is to apply to medical school, our Deputy Medical Director can offer advice on applications, review personal statements, and even give you a mock interview practice.

This opportunity will not only hugely enhance your college, university or job applications but will also give you valuable life skills through direct contact with patients, families and the hospice care teams.

Why is it called ‘Young Ambassadors’?

In return for the opportunity we are offering we would like you to spread the word to your peers that hospice care is about life and living, not just death and dying.

So many people fear that a hospice is simply a place to go to die. This is one of the many myths that surround the word ‘hospice’. It is of course true that some patients choose to spend their last days with us because they know the care they will receive is outstanding. But, for many of our patients, they come to get their symptoms under control, or for a full assessment of their needs. They may only need to stay for a few days before going home again.

You will find that our Inpatient Unit has a lovely warm homely feel, allowing people to be together with privacy and dignity. We also hope that you find yourself surprised, encouraged and reassured as you discover how hospice care can transform the lives of those affected by a life-limiting or terminal illness.

We would like more people to understand this from an early age, so whilst you are with us we will encourage you to write a blog about your experiences, share St Clare’s social media posts, and promote St Clare at your school or college.

Time required:

Your placement will last from September 2017 – mid February 2018 and will require a regularly weekly commitment of either a couple of hours after school or a few hours at the weekend.

Location:

You will be based at St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood near Harlow, Essex, CM17 9JX.

The benefits you can expect:

  • Gaining valuable work experience to improve your university / employment applications.
  • Developing skills, and building confidence in a professional environment.
  • Experience of working as part of a team.
  • Help make a real difference to people living with a life-limiting illness
  • Spend your time doing something that is worthwhile and rewarding

We do not want you to be out of pocket by volunteering with us and we have a budget to pay your expenses such as travelling to the hospice by bus, train or car.

The support you will be given:

Before you start, you will be offered training to prepare you for your role which will include subjects such as communication skills, maintaining patient boundaries and confidentiality.

When you are at the hospice you will report to the nurse in charge, and you will be supported in your role by our multidisciplinary team of nurses, nursing assistants and volunteers.

You will have an assigned member of staff who you can contact with any queries, questions or issues outside of your normal volunteering hours.

The Voluntary Services Manager will also keep in touch with you each half term to check how your placement is progressing.

The personal qualities you will need:

  • Able to communicate effectively, including having good listening skills.
  • Polite, friendly and  sensitive to the needs of others.
  • Able to work well within a team.
  • Willing to learn, to take instruction on board, and to follow guidance.
  • Confident enough to ask questions, and ask for help, as required.
  • Reliable, dependable and punctual.
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality of information relating to patients.
  • Willing to help with all tasks outlined in the ‘Young Ambassador Inpatient Unit Role Outline’

This role is best suited to students completing their GCSE’s in summer 2017. That way you can gain experience before applying to university at the end of 2018 / start of 2019. However applications will be considered from students who have already completed their GCSE’s.

Please note, this project is not appropriate for anyone who has experienced a close bereavement within the last two years.

How to apply:

Deadline for applications: 8am Monday 24th July.

We only have capacity to offer 2 or 3 placements in 2017-18 academic year so we will be shortlisting candidates and inviting them to attend an interview.

Interviews will take place : w/c 31st July

Pre-placement training: tbc in summer holidays

Placement to commence: w/c 4 September 2017

Contact Rob Wallace, St Clare’s Voluntary Services Manager, via email: volunteer@stclarehospice.org.uk or phone: 01279 773722 or to request a full role description and an application form.

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