Hospiscare is campaigning for fair statutory funding for our hospice. To find out more, please see www.hospiscare.co.uk/fair 


Meet our care navigator volunteer, Viv Menear

Find out what it's like to be a care navigator volunteer at Hospiscare

At Hospiscare, we have a fantastic team of volunteer care navigators who provide practical and emotional support to patients and their families at home. They discuss concerns, collect shopping, accompany patients on trips, help with admin tasks, and stay with patients when caregivers need to go out for a short time.

Viv became a volunteer care navigator in 2023 and explains, “My mum died and I had been the main organiser of her care and looked after her. She had dementia for quite a while and she had been my job because I was retired, so after her death I felt a bit empty and that I needed to give something back. I’ve also worked in the care industry, so I thought I need to do something useful!

“The first patient I met had arrived back in the UK after living in another country for several years. He had just two suitcases of possessions and came to be closer to his family because of his illness. He was put into temporary accommodation whilst awaiting permanent accommodation, but when the time came for him to move, he didn’t have everything he needed.”

Although the patient did not ask for or expect anything from Hospiscare, Viv discussed his concerns and arranged appropriate support, including working closely with our care navigator coordinator, Julie, to apply for a grant to furnish the property ready for him to move in.

“It felt like I was making a difference to his life, and he was making a difference to my life too. It lifted me and gave me a purpose.

“If people don’t have family members fighting their corner, looking after them and what’s happening to them, then they can feel left by the wayside. They need someone to be their voice when they’re not feeling strong. I think you come at it from the point of view of, if this were my family member, if this were me, what would I want?”

Thanks to Viv, Julie, the successful grant and our warehouse in Marsh Barton, our patient was able to move in with everything he needed.

“Another patient I supported, was a lady whose daughter was living with her until she passed away. I went there to give her daughter some respite and she told me about her life and was able to share with me her anxieties about dying.

“It’s very interesting talking to people about their lives. It can be emotionally challenging, but being a care navigator is a very rewarding and worthwhile role… It’s also a privilege to be in contact with people at that stage in their life.”

Visit www.hospiscare.co.uk/care-navigators to find out more about our care navigators.