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Issues » 2011/4 - Volunteering and Social Work »

Soňa Vávrová, Renata Polepilová

Volunteering in Hospices


In the present article the authors deal with the execution of voluntary service in hospices, where they consider the causes of low numbers of volunteers in the institutions of palliative care on the basis of performed researches. They see the basic cause in a tradition of the Czech society, where volunteering itself is not rooted in our cultural historical context sufficiently and not comprehended as a prestigious matter. Subsequently there cannot be a big interest in voluntary performance connected with keeping company with dying people, when death is perceived in current society more likely as a loss than a natural part of life. Another possible cause, to which they pay special attention, is seen to be insufficient training of volunteers before their entry to a hospice organisation, in which are laid particularly high requirements for voluntary performance. It is not possible for just any volunteer to enter the organizations which take care of persons in terminal states of life, but only people with adequately mature personalities, who are equable not only with the finality of the lives of the other people, but primarily with his/her own death.


voluntary service, volunteer, sending organization, host organization, hospice, volunteer training

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