Help others with a long-term health condition by volunteering

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2022)

People in Torbay and South Devon with lived experience of a long-term health condition are getting the opportunity to support others to better manage their health and wellbeing.

The Health Connect Coaching programme, run by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, is a volunteer programme which provides peer support for people living with long-term conditions.

It is estimated that there are around 15 million people in the UK currently living with long-term conditions. These include asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and skin conditions.

The programme is looking for people living with multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, rheumatological conditions, fibromyalgia, neurological conditions or a stoma to support current peers. However, anyone with lived experience of a condition can volunteer to coach and support others living through a similar experience..

Volunteer coaches have the opportunity to support others for around one to three hours a week. Current volunteers have a passion for helping others going through similar experiences, have an interest in volunteering to support their community, or are retired healthcare professionals who want to continue helping people.

Helen Davies-Cox, Head of Personalised Care at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Health Connect Coaching presents a fantastic opportunity for both volunteer coaches and the people attending the coaching sessions. We know that learning from peers, who have been through the same experiences, is hugely beneficial and our volunteer coaches are able to share their knowledge of how they manage their condition.

“The programme provides a great opportunity for those looking to give back with a desire to help people in similar situations. Our team are on hand to ensure that coaches are fully supported and we would love to hear from anyone interested in getting involved.”

For anyone who would like more information or to apply to become a volunteer coach, please email tsdft.healthconnectcoaching@nhs.net.

If you are currently living with a long-term health condition, feeling overwhelmed managing your health and wellbeing and would like some further information on how Health Connect Coaching could support you to better self-manage, please email tsdft.healthconnectcoaching@nhs.net or call 07825792847 / 01803 320600.

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