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Dining Buddy & Befriender

Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust recognise and value the importance volunteer support is to us and our patients. We currently have a volunteer role available supporting us at The Harbour in Blackpool. You must be 18 years and over to apply for this role.

Volunteering on a ward involves a long term commitment (for example 9 – 12 months), and to bring continuity and stability for patients and staff, we ask volunteer to support by doing the same periods each week, which are discussed and agreed by the volunteer and volunteer supervisor.

We have merged the role of dining buddy and befriender to maintain familiarity and consistency for our patients. Dining buddies are volunteers who provide extra support during mealtimes and help complete diet/fluid charts. The role supports people to maintain optimal health and wellbeing, nutrition and hydration. 

Befrienders can help patients feel content during their stay in hospital by spending time with them, maybe having a chat and a cup of tea/coffee or engaging in other social activities.

  • Introduce yourself to the patients and discuss the menu relevant to that meal time.
  • Assist with providing patients with their meals and ensure cutlery/napkins/specialist equipment is available.
  • Support individuals who may need extra help, for example cutting up food, opening packets, spreading butter (etc). No direct feeding of patients is to take place.
  • Encourage conversation during mealtime so it is a social occasion.
  • Support other staff to clear away utensils between courses and at the end of the meal and clean the dining room area.
  • Support completion of diet and fluid charts following meals.
  • Complete fluid pushes and complete fluid charts accordingly.
  • Establish and build befriending relationships with patients.
  • Ensure appropriate boundaries are maintained.
  • Spend time listening, talking and engaging in activities with the patients.

What skills do I need?

  • Friendly nature
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Willingness to help and support staff and patients
  • Demonstrates empathy and compassion
  • Calm manner
  • Comfortable working in a fast moving environment
  • Comply with all Trust Policies and Procedures in relation to information governance and confidentially

Please email volunteering@lscft.nhs.uk or ring 01772 645507 for an application pack.

When do I need to be available?

Morning Afternoon Evening

Times and dates to be discussed and agreed between the volunteer and their supervisor. Please email volunteering@lscft.nhs.uk or ring 01772 645507 for an application pack.

Where does this role take place?

The Harbour
Windmill Rise

View on Google Maps →

Register your interest
  • Ideal for people interested in
  • Mental Health
  • Ideal for people who like
  • Befriending
  • Details
  • Age restrictions
    Volunteers must be 18 or above
  • DBS check required
    Enhanced DBS with Adult Barring - this is free to a volunteer
  • Expenses reimbursed
    Travel expenses up to a 20 mile round trip can be claimed.
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description
    Please email volunteering@lscft.nhs.uk or call 01772 645507 for an application pack.
  • Application Process
  • Application Form

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