An important and invaluable part of the work of the Galilee Palliative Care Unit is carried out by the volunteers. They contribute to the improvement in the quality of life of both patients and their families through their close collaboration with the interdisciplinary team. Without the volunteers it would be impossible to provide comprehensive care for the patients and their families and make the vision of the Galilee a reality.

There are no specific, strict preconditions for someone to become a volunteer at Galilee.

Among our present volunteers, some have decided to offer their services in this way as a result of some personal experience that has made them aware of the special needs of cancer patients or of sufferers from other life-threatening illnesses. All, however, are committed to supporting and helping to the very best of their ability those who are passing through an agonizing period in their life.

Good intentions are important, but they are not enough. They need to be combined with a readiness to learn. The volunteer needs to be open to learning ever more about the innumerable factors affecting this crucial period in the life of those suffering from a life-threatening illness. It is also essential for the volunteer to understand and accept the spirit of palliative care in accordance with the principles of the Galilee. The training program in which all volunteers are obliged to participate is of great assistance in promoting this understanding.

Volunteering in palliative care provides great emotional rewards. It is no exaggeration to say that the volunteers feel that they are receiving more than they are giving! Nevertheless, taking part in palliative care may not be the right choice for everyone. Once one has completed the Volunteer Application Form he/she will be invited for a personal interview, and if accepted,  will embark on the Introductory Training Program which involves 40 hours of initial training (over a nine month period). At the end of this volunteers will usually be able to decide if this is something for them or whether there is some better way in which they can offer their services.

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