Marie Curie calls on local residents to volunteer some time to help terminally ill people and their carers

MARIE Curie Cancer Care has issued a call to people across Cardiff and the Vale for a few hours of their time each week to help someone with a terminal illness living locally.

The charity is establishing a Marie Curie Helper service in Cardiff and the Vale, the very first in Wales, to provide support, information and a listening ear to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses, but urgently needs volunteers to come forward to get the service up and running.

Marie Curie Helpers are volunteers who give around three hours a week of invaluable face-to-face support for free in the comfort of their own homes. The Helper service has already proved a success across other areas of the UK and the charity is now keen to make the service available to people across Cardiff and the Vale.

Joanna Parry, Manager for the new Marie Curie Helper service in Cardiff and the Vale, said:

“The success of our Helper service in other areas of the UK has shown us that our volunteers can provide a lifeline for people who may otherwise be anxious, exhausted and confused about local services or unaware that help exists at all. A Marie Curie Helper fills a gap that quite can’t be filled by a health professional or family member – they can step in to ease some of the strain on families at what is an incredibly difficult time.

“Our Helper volunteers find this very rewarding and fulfilling role. We’re eager to make sure people in Cardiff and the Vale can also benefit from the service and would urge anyone who thinks they may be able to volunteer to get in touch.”

Marie Curie Helpers don’t need to have any medical training, but they do need empathy, patience and understanding. Training and ongoing support are provided by Marie Curie, and travel expenses are reimbursed.

Anyone over 18 who is interested in becoming a Marie Curie Helper then please contact the National Volunteer Centre in Pontypool on 0845 305 2191 or email southwaleshelper@mariecurie.org.uk . Marie Curie will be running training programmes for helpers in the upcoming months. Please visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/helper for more information on the Helper service.

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