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Case Studies from the Sector: Vacha’s Story

St Elizabeth Hospice supports people with progressive and life-limiting illnesses. They offer expert care and support to help them, and their families, maximise the potential from life that they have left.

Vacha has been volunteering at Zest. The Hospice has been developing Zest since 2015, working closely with children’s hospice services to ensure that young adults have a smooth transition into adult care.

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Full-text version:

Zest is a scheme which sees St Elizabeth Hospice work closely with children’s hospices to ensure young adults have a smooth transition into adult care. VachaFadia is one of those who has volunteered.

‘From my first experience of St Elizabeth Hospice as a primary school pupil, through to volunteering with Zest, my experiences have opened my eyes to hospices and inspired my aim to work in medicine,’ explains Vacha.

Currently, 36 young people and 124 family members use Zest’s services. These services include Short Breaks, which allows young people to take time out from their daily routine and provides vital respite for families, as well as a parent support group and monthly X-Change evening social group for patients.

‘From sports activities and music therapy to visits from a miniature reptile zoo (which saw me hold a snake round my neck!), there was always something different and it was rewarding to develop friendships with all the young adults and see their personalities and friendships grow,’ says Vacha.

Zest and St Elizabeth Hospice have both faced challenges due to impact of coronavirus. However, throughout this time, the local community and supporters have rallied, making donations and taking part in socially-distanced fundraising activities.

‘I would encourage anyone to volunteer for Zest as it’s an opportunity you will not regret,’ Vacha adds. ‘By getting involved, you will learn skills you will have for a lifetime and you will be making a difference in a service which is shaping the futures of many young people in your local area.’

To learn more about volunteering, email [email protected] or visit the website.