Registration is required. For more information call 250.364.6204 or email: Photo: Farrinni Odso/Unsplash

Registration is required. For more information call 250.364.6204 or email: Photo: Farrinni Odso/Unsplash

Hospice training begins this weekend in downtown Trail

Registration is required. For more information call 250.364.6204 or email:

Interested in a rewarding experience as a volunteer?

If the answer is “yes,” then consider signing up for the first two training sessions with the Greater Trail Hospice Society, running in the Trail United Church Friday night (Sept. 10) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are four sessions that must be completed. The final two training days will run in the downtown Trail church on Sept. 24 and Sept. 25.

Registration is required. For more information call 250.364.6204 or email:

“Our volunteer training appeals to those who may have lost a loved one, or want to give back to their community in a meaningful way,” explains Jen Savage, hospice care coordinator for the Greater Trail Hospice Society.

“People of compassion who want to make a difference in someone’s life in a really personal way are a great fit for hospice.”

Providing respite care for caregivers, and company and conversation in this friendly visitor program, or becoming involved with grief programs, allows for a variety of volunteer opportunities.

In addition to providing the fundamentals of hospice volunteering this month, the society is also offering Nav-CARE training, which is partly online, starting Sept. 13.

These sessions consist of six one-hour modules, which must be completed by the end of September.

The latter opportunity with the Nav-CARE program is designed to improve the quality of life for adults living with chronic, life-limiting illnesses.

Nav-CARE volunteers can help individuals connect with other people and relevant community resources.

“Hospice volunteer training focuses on the fundamentals of supporting individuals and families close to, or at, end-of-life,” Savage clarified. “Nav-CARE training looks at how to support individuals in declining health but still connecting with their communities. Nav-CARE clients are not in the end-of-life phase.”

People who want to volunteer can start with either program depending on the type of volunteering they want to do. If they take the navigator training first, they could take the fundamentals of hospice care training at a later date.

Volunteers in the Nav-CARE program must have Nav-CARE training before starting with clients in the community. Ongoing education and mentorship is provided for both types of volunteers.

All volunteers who have contact with clients and families are required to be COVID vaccinated.

Read more: Greater Trail hospice breathes life and meaning into its brand

Read more: Greater Trail volunteers are the heart of hospice care

Hospice partners with researcher

Greater Trail hospice is joining forces with University of British Columbia-Okanagan researcher Dr. Barb Pesut. This partnership seeks to further develop the Nav-CARE program, training navigators to journey with people living with chronic life-limiting illness.

Two-year funding, aimed at spreading this initiative across the country, has allowed Trail hospice to hire Linda Merlo as Nav-CARE coordinator.

Merlo will be training volunteers to help people navigate the healthcare system and stay connected with their community. Life-limiting illness creates many health and emotional challenges, and research has shown that people are struggling during these changes.

Nav-CARE volunteers can help talk clients through important decisions and future plans.

“It is wonderful to be able to tell your whole story to someone without feeling like you are burdening them,” shares a Nav-CARE client.

Those interested in giving back to others in this way or know someone who might benefit from this free service, are encouraged to contact Linda Merlo at 250.368.7347 or

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