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Brigitte Trust News > Supporting People In Surrey Facing Life-Threatening Illness



Video - The Brigitte Trust - Volunteering

Brigitte Trust volunteers Helen, Magi and Ramesh explain what volunteering means to them.

Brigitte Trust

Supporting people in Surrey facing life-threatening illness
Life threatening conditions are not something we plan for. News that a loved one has cancer or other life threatening condition comes as a great shock.
From that moment their life expectancy is changed, their lives have changed and the impact on the lives of those closest to them has changed as all struggle to cope in coming to terms of what lies ahead.
When a family member is diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening illness it can be a lonely and frightening time. Surrey charity The Brigitte Trust offers a free volunteer service of emotional support and practical help at home.
The service may also provide the family carer with a break, driving to medical or other appointments, shopping or just sitting quietly and listening.
Brigitte Trust works closely with health professionals and hospices complementing their service by offering clients and their family members time to share feelings and concerns as well as practical help at home when everyday tasks may have become more difficult. Our volunteers also help clients who are able to access community support.
A network of support to help people to remain at home
As people are living longer with life threatening conditions and many enjoying long periods of remission the service has adapted being part of a network of support to help people to remain at home, so avoiding admission to hospital, hospice, care or nursing homes.
Access To Our Suppport
Our support may be accessed during and after a course of treatment or surgery, where the health or wellbeing of the client or carer is poor, where support is needed to sustain a caring role, and towards the end of life.
Bereavement support
Bereavement support of up to six months is also available to the family.
Area Covered By The Brigitte Trust
Brigitte Trust Surrey & Sussex practical help extending to Elmbridge & Runneymede
Free service provided to the area in the map:
Spelthorne, Runnymede, West Elmbridge, East Elmbridge, Woking, Epsom & Ewell, East Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Tandridge, Mole valley, Crawley, Horsham.
Counties include Surrey and parts of Sussex & Middlesex
Brigitte Trust Charity. Based in Dorking, expanding into Elmbridge Epsom & Runneymede
In partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, the service offered by the Trust is expanding into West Elmbridge Woking, Spelthorne and Runnymede in the coming months and more volunteers are needed.
We are now running taster sessions and recruiting for our free training courses.
We are now running Taster sessions before the training courses where potential volunteers can meet our trainers and get a real feel for the charity and its training and support.
 After the taster session volunteers are invited to sign up for either a daytime or evening course, both of which run concurrently.
Through the programme, volunteers will be equipped with the skills to provide emotional support to people and their families facing the huge challenges of life threatening illness.
To express interest in becoming a volunteer or just to find out more call us or visit the charity’s website - see below.

Contact Brigitte Trust
East Region Service Co-Ordinator
 East Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge, Crawley and Horsham
Phone: Sarah Pattenden: 07469 932 192
Email: sarah.pattenden@brigittetrust.com
West Region Service Co-Ordinator
Mole Valley, Guildford, Woking, Spelthorne, Runnymede, West Elmbridge
Phone: Heather Colbert: 07469 931 697
Email: heather.colbert@brigittetrust.com
Brigitte Trust Office
316 High Street, Dorking,  Surrey RH4 1QX
Phone: 01306 881 816
please mention all about Weybridge website
Fax: 01306 741 383
Email: brigittetrustadmin@btconnect.com
Web: www.brigittetrust.org
Registered Charity No: 288923
In Partnership With MacMillan Cancer Support
close links with Sam Beare Weybridge and Woking Hospices
We will be working closely with the local hospices - Woking & Sam Beare Weybridge.
The Brigitte Trusts values and supports its volunteers. One current volunteer said:
“We are in the unique position of being neither a family member nor a friend, and very often that can make us a useful sounding board to vent the strong emotions and worries which life-threatening illness can bring.
The training course which I attended when I first joined The Trust, together with on-going workshops and supervision, has made me feel that I am part of a friendly and hugely supportive team and I really enjoy my role as a volunteer.
It is a great privilege to be invited into someone’s home at a time which can be so emotionally and physically challenging and it can be a fulfilling and often humbling experience.
And the feedback we get from our clients endorses the fact that we really do make a difference”
Access to appropriate emotional support and practical help
For many people this means they know little of what to expect or what help is available.
In particular those affected and their family say that access to appropriate emotional support and practical help is as important to them as medical care.
People are referred to us mainly by local hospices, district and specialist nurses, GP’s and hospitals with whom we work closely.
We welcome self-referral and referral from family, friends, other voluntary organisations and churches.
We are very much a community organisation supporting local people, recruiting our volunteers locally and raising most of our funding from within the communities we serve.
Support for most vulnerable or isolated:
As well as suffering life threatening illness many of those we support include most vulnerable or isolated:
  83% have cancer and others such illnesses as Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinsons, MS, Stroke, Heart or Respiratory Conditions
  78% are over 65, including 41% who are over 80 years of age
  35% live alone
42% live with their main carers who are a similar elderly profile and are often also in poor health
11% have young children
ipad help! - Cancer support in Surrey with practical help for families facing cancer, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and other life-threatening illness
Support for people facing life threatening illness
Free Training Course
We will give you the skills to make a real difference.
Training Course Programme
Our Podcast
Listen to our podcast to hear more about the service provided by our volunteers.
Feedback From Families Supported
Volunteering at Brigitte Trust can be a great learning and rewarding experience.
You can make a difference and feel valued by families and your fellow volunteers.
We supported over 360 families last year and feedback from them includes the following comments below and to the right:
From Client Carer:
“Thank you for the support. My mum has multiple system atrophy, a rare degenerative disorder.
In addition to visiting my mum our Brigitte Trust volunteer spent time on the phone supporting me, something I value as priceless because of her calmness, warmth and insight."
Keith a client living alone says “Thumbs Up to Brigitte Trust”:
“I have no family and no friends nearby.
Before my cancer operation I suffered OCD and so a hospital stay was challenging for me.
Released from hospital I could not go out alone and needed practical help with such as shopping.
My volunteer was wonderful.
My life has seen great sadness.
Eventually I was able to share my stories with my volunteer having never shared them before.
 I am moving on now in a way I never felt I could.”
Brigitte Watkin - Founder of volunteer group to support terminally ill people who wished if possible to remain at home
Bereaved mum:
“We would have been lost without the support and kindness of Brigitte Trust. A wonderful organisation who appear like a shining light to help you through difficult times.
The volunteers were wonderful to my husband never faltering in their support, even during his last difficult weeks and days.
Their kindness and support gave us the strength to make my husband’s last days as comfortable and as dignified as possible. Their support continues to keep us afloat in coming to terms with our loss.”
More Info About Brigitte Trust
See the page about Brigitte Trust on our website, with information for people who may need their help or for people who may wish to support this charity.
Page: Charities & Health - Brigitte Trust Surrey
* Elmbridge Towns & Villages include Weybridge, Walton on Thames, Hersham, Esher, Oxshott, Claygate, Cobham,
East Molesey, Hinchley Wood, Thames Ditton, West Molesey. Oatlands Village forms part of Weybridge


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