Presented by: Barbara Gale
This interactive workshop draws on findings from a qualitative narrative research study to help participants explore how belief systems influence how they work with volunteers and people in the community. The research with community hospice volunteers in the UK, heard their stories about their experiences and their attitudes to death and dying was important because:
- Recommendations that increasing use of volunteers could widen the reach of hospices in the community
- The impact of increasing regulation on volunteer roles and relationships between professional staff and volunteers, and volunteers and patients.
Concepts from systems theory were used to underpin this study and understand the stories heard about the rules and belief systems that influenced how the volunteers managed their relationships with dying people and the hospice. The findings show the importance of the social nature of the volunteer role and the value of friendships, but highlight the dilemmas that volunteers face when working with systems that are heavily regulated. The volunteers’ beliefs about relationships and rules did not just come from hospices, but from their own belief systems.
This workshop will encourage participants to consider the systems they work in and explore beliefs (personal and institutional) held about rules and relationships when working with volunteers and dying people.
Participants will then explore how those different belief systems might influence how they work with volunteers and people in the community.