Interview with Jane McCurrach (No One Dies Alone Ayrshire)

No One Dies Alone Artwork

First off, tell me about yourself? And the rest of the core team at No One Dies Alone?
We have 37 volunteers and 4 board members all made up of a wide range of people from health professionals and managers to ordinary people who have no experience of palliative care.  I am a Soul Midwife (Soul Midwife Ayrshire) and have been self employed since 2009 working with and teaching complementary therapies.

How many volunteers do you currently have, and are you looking for more? If so how do you apply?
We will always be looking for more Volunteer Companions as not everyone is available to work every moment of every day – when our services could be needed.  Contact nodaayrshire@outlook.com for an application form. Once you have had an informal interview and a full enhanced disclosure has been carried out you will be ready to start.

On a related note, what is involved in becoming a volunteer, and what training do volunteers undergo?
To be a Companion to someone who is dying and alone, or have family who need a break, you need to be balanced and centered in your own self as much as possible (though we understand this is an ongoing journey). The ability to listen wisely, without offering advice, is crucial. As we will be working mainly (at first) with people in the last 48 hours of their lives, an openness to learning how to work with your intuition would be beneficial. The main thing we are looking for is good old fashioned Kindness. There will be an evening of training and ongoing monthly Companion support meetings in Dumfries House, Cumnock. In addition, Sacred Care who are offering us a training/meeting room to work in at Dumfries House, have offered all Volunteer Companions regular complementary therapies to enable them to nurture themselves and help their own personal growth.  

And what is the most rewarding part of being involved with No One Dies Alone?
Being able to help another human being at such a deep level gives you an experience of how sacred and special death actually is.  Although nothing can really prepare you for death, and each and every one is unique, being a Volunteer Companion helps your compassion, and your compassion for your own self, grow immensely.

What (if you have one) is your organization’s mission statement? What exactly is it that No One Dies Alone does?
We are a constituted group of Volunteer Companions who sit with people who are dying in the final 48 hours of their lives.  Also offering respite to those with families who need a break. We provide training and ongoing support to help empower the community to help the community.  We aim to break down taboos and fears around death and dying and bring our communities back to the view that death is a sacred rite of passage, as many cultures still understand.

How do people donate to your organisation?
We have a patreon page for ongoing monthly support but also available is a bank transfer, one off or monthly.

And what are your plans for the future as an organisation?
We plan to spread public awareness as much as possible and empower communities to help each other.  This awareness also helps those who are grieving as we begin to become less afraid of death and we envision less isolation around people who are grieving. We also intend to expand into South and North Ayrshire and hope others will pick up the baton so the No-one Dies Alone project is rolled out all over the UK by many different community groups.

What challenges have you faced as an organisation and how have you dealt with them?
The social media side of things is quite a challenge as I personally would rather stay off the phone and computer as much as possible. Since that’s not possible just now, I’ve just got on with it!

What has been your proudest moment and/or biggest accomplishment so far?
We are overwhelmed with the support from local communities in Darvel, Newmilns and Kilmarnock and it is very heartwarming.

Lastly where can people check out what you do for themselves?
Facebook, Twitter and Patreon.

 

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org

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