Cancer does't mean being alone - help us be there

May 7, 2014

You help patients with cancer

Volunteer Organization Willow (DS Vrba) is providing help and support to hospitalized patients at the St. Elizabeth Cancer Institute in Bratislava. Patients there are regularly visited by carefully selected and trained volunteers who are doing some activities with them, play games with them, or simply talk to them. The organization has an operating mobile library for patients – a volunteer is visiting hospitalized patients with a carriage full of books. We organize is regular craft clubs at the departments of radio-therapy. We invite various guests to talk to hospitalized patients about travelling or other topics or it is organizing concerts for them. In 2013, we have started a pilot service – the distribution of hot drinks for people visiting outpatients´ departments. These are people waiting (usually for a long time) for various examinations / radio-therapy / chemotherapy.

As the Volunteer Organization Willow is providing volunteer opportunities in the area that is very mentally demanding (accompanying of seriously ill and dying patients), volunteers stay in the service for maximum of two or three years. In order to secure the continuation of the volunteer program, the organization is organizing recruitments twice a year – in spring and in autumn. We organized the recruitment and the training in March 2014. Now there are 15 regular volunteers in the inpatient units and 8 volunteers in outpatients ‘department. There are 20 ad-hoc volunteers organizing events as concerts, travelling workshops, poets reading, Christmas evening etc.


We need the resources to:

 -          Keep and to improve the service of the hot drinks distribution in the hospital – to buy coffees, teas, cups, sugar, milk and other material

-          Enable the volunteer opportunities also to people who would not be able to accompany long-term ill and terminally ill patients but would be able to carry out other activities in the hospital (clubs, crafting, library service, distribution of magazines, etc.) – to buy materials for clubs

-          Secure autumn recruitment and training of a good quality to new volunteers at the hospital thanks to the involvement of professional lecturers – to pay the professional trainers

-          Secure the protection of volunteers and patients who are in contact with them through the involvement of a qualified supervisor - the group supervision is obligatory, currently it is held once a month (three groups of volunteers – thus three Tuesdays per month) – to pay the supervisors

-          Provide uniforms for new volunteers

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Project Leader

Sandra Stasselova

program coordinator for corporate volunteering and pro bono
Bratislava, Slovakia

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