Volunteers at the Heart of Hospice and Palliative Care: International Symposium at #EAPC2019


With volunteers such an integral part of hospice and palliative care, it’s vital to future proof the extent of their huge contribution. Leena Pelttari and Ros Scott, Co-chairs of the EAPC Task Force on Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care, invite you to join speakers and participants from Europe, India, Africa and beyond to learn, reflect and share experiences in an International Symposium on Saturday 25 May in Berlin.

Ros Scott and Leena Pelttari

The EAPC Volunteering Task Force Steering Group recently had a lively discussion about volunteering, what was changing and whether new, emerging models of volunteering were impacting on more traditional models.

We also touched on the word ‘volunteering’, its use and different interpretations. It is used as if we were describing a uniform group of people all doing the same kind of thing, not quite part of the hospice and palliative care (HPC) team, but peripheral to it. But do we recognise the diversity of HPC volunteering – people in many countries of all ages, genders, involved in a wide range of activities?

Do we recognise that volunteers also sit with people in the last days and hours of life? Are involved in spiritual and religious care? Do we recognise the people who help organisations to function and who raise funds and awareness? Do we understand how much this means to volunteers, how they experience and reflect on this? Do we stop to think that changes in HPC influence volunteering and that changes in volunteering ultimately have an influence on HPC?

As volunteers are such an integral part of HPC it is vital that we take time to learn, consider, and discuss what is happening in HPC volunteering today so that we can plan for the future. On Saturday 25 May 2019 at the Estrel Congress Center in Berlin there will be a great opportunity to do exactly this. As part of the 16thEAPC World Congress, the International Symposium, Volunteers at the Heart of Hospice and Palliative Care – Opportunities and Challenges 2030′, provides a day for all those with an interest in HPC volunteering to come together to learn, reflect and share experiences.

This is a day not to be missed! With a line up of highly respected international speakers, topics include Compassionate Communities with Dr RM Rajagopal from India, HPC volunteering in Africa with Fatia Kiyange, a European panel discussion to consider volunteering in 2030, findings from recent research and hearing at first hand volunteers’ experiences. There will also be a lively World Café session where we can share and learn from one another.

The organisers (EAPC Task Force on Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care in Europe, German Association for Palliative Medicine, German Hospice and Palliative Care Association and Hospice Austria) are grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens and Women’s Health for generously funding this Symposium and also to the ERSTE Foundation for funding travel costs for participants from Eastern European Countries.

So please come and join this important and exciting event! The Symposium is free to attend, but you should register here. More information on the programme can be found here.

JOIN US IN BERLIN FOR #EAPC2019 – for more presentations and posters on volunteering in palliative care
As well as the International Symposium on Saturday 25 May, look out for more volunteering events at 16th EAPC World Congress in Berlin.

Thursday 23 May 2019

  • Plenary presentation EAPC Charter Voice of Volunteering, Ros Scott 15:50 to 16:00 Convention Hall ll.



Friday, 24 May 2019

  • Hospices Harnessing Communities: Challenges and Benefits of Community Volunteering Programmes, Ros Scott and Jean Hindmarch, 12:30 to 12:45.
  • Open Meeting of the EAPC Task Force on Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care. 12:55 to 14:15, room 5, 2nd floor. 
  • Plenary presentation: The Liminal Space Palliative Care Volunteers Occupy and the Roles they Perform within it: A Qualitative Study, Steven Vanderstichelen. 15:30 to 15:50, Convention Hall II.
  • And lots of posters on volunteering…

View the full 16th EAPC World Congress programme here.  Register here.
Read more posts about Volunteering in palliative care.
Read more posts about the 16th EAPC World Congress.


This entry was posted in 16th EAPC World Congress Berlin, VOLUNTEERING IN PALLIATIVE CARE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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