What is Namaste Care?

The word ‘Namaste’ means to ‘honour the spirit within’. Namaste Care is a support programme designed to improve the quality of life for people living with advanced dementia and their families. It offers person-centred care, social and emotional support through meaningful activities and sensory stimulation.

Our trained and supervised volunteers visit people regularly to provide Namaste Care in their own homes; in nursing and care homes; in hospitals; and in the hospice. No previous experience required for this very rewarding role – full training and support will be provided.

Our volunteers carry out activities such as:
  • giving hand massage
  • making a memory box
  • playing favourite music
  • reading favourite books/poems
  • encouraging gentle movement
Who can be a Namaste volunteer?
We would love to hear from you if you have:
  • a couple of hours per week available
  • good listening, communication and empathy skills
  • an interest in supporting people in your community who are living with dementia
  • can commit to a minimum of six months active volunteering with the Namaste Care Service
Benefits include:
  • Opportunity to make a difference to the lives of both the individual and their family
  • Opportunity to learn new skills / develop existing skills
  • Opportunity to be creative in developing person-centred activities
  • Free training
  • On-going support from your service co-ordinator and peer group
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses
  • Provision of a reference (after minimum 6 months of active volunteering)
Training

All Namaste volunteers need to attend a two-day training course to prepare them for their role. This course is usually run every two months in the Education Centre at the Hospice. Please contact the Namaste Care team for the latest information about forthcoming training on 020 8525 3165.

Support

We keep in regular contact with our volunteers, not least through our monthly ‘Share and Reflect’ support meetings which are held at the Hospice. These meetings are an opportunity to meet up with other volunteers – as well as with the service coordinators – to share experiences and ideas and support each other. The meetings are really valuable, and are a part of the volunteer’s role. They are currently held on a Wednesday afternoon, from 4.30pm to 6pm.

How to volunteer

To become a Namaste volunteer you must be at least 17 years of age, and will need to go through a volunteer recruitment process. To do this you will need to:

  • complete an online application form
  • attend a Volunteering Information Session at the Hospice
  • attend the Hospice volunteers core training day
  • attend a two-day Namaste Volunteer training course
  • attend an interview with a Namaste Care Coordinator
  • provide two referees
  • complete a DBS (criminal record) check

To talk to somebody about this role, contact the Namaste Care Team on 020 8525 3165.

 

** Adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic**

Supporting our volunteers

Instead of the monthly face-to-face meetings with volunteers at the Hospice, we are now holding fortnightly meetings online via Zoom for volunteers to meet up and support one another. We will resume meetings at the Hospice as soon as we can.

Volunteer recruitment and training

We are continuing to recruit new volunteers to the Namaste Care Service so that they can be ready to start volunteering once restrictions are lifted. While we cannot run the Namaste Volunteer Training course at the Hospice, we have been offering Namaste training online – contact us for further details on 020 8525 3165 or email us at namaste@stjh.org.uk .

What can you do?

If you would like to volunteer with us you can start the recruitment process now by firstly completing your online application; then by ensuring that you have two people ready to be your referees; locating the necessary documents for your DBS check; and then by signing up for the next Namaste training course (online or face-to-face).