Volunteer provides essential welfare support

Volunteer Peter Donnelly, a retired civil servant, is helping our charity make a real difference to patients and families by providing welfare support.

Having an incurable illness, cancer or nearing end of life is stressful enough without the added worry of managing finances, additional costs and income. 

Peter, who worked as a visiting officer for the Department for Work and Pensions for 20 years, has extensive experience in helping people engage with the welfare system and claim benefits they aren’t aware of.

He will be working with our patients, providing advice on claiming government benefits and support with the completion of the applications, for those who have been diagnosed with an incurable illness and/or are receiving palliative or end of life care.

Family, friends or carers can also access the service to receive advice and support on what they may be able to claim to make their lives easier whilst caring for their loved one.

“Welfare information for people who have contact with the hospice is essential.”

“Many families have worked all their lives and paid their bills monthly. Suddenly, the main earner becomes seriously ill or has to reduce hours as they have to care for a loved one. Their income reduces and they have worries about paying bills on top of the devastating health circumstances of someone close. Many have never had to access benefit information and may not be in the right frame of mind or know where to access information. I can help them with this,” says Peter.

He continues: “The service that we are offering is making families aware of government/local council benefits/exemptions that they may be able to access due to the often significant changes in household circumstances they may have to face when a loved one becomes seriously ill.

“Family members in this situation often don’t know where to go for help and what help is out there. We offer a focal point to get the information about additional financial help they can access and help to complete the forms and engage with the relevant government departments when necessary.”

How to make an appointment with Peter

Patients and families can book an appointment with Peter by contacting the Patient Pathway team on 01785 270832. Our staff are also able to make a referral with the consent of the patient/family.

Peter Donnelly