“It’s all about helping people who are going through really difficult times. The volunteers here are really lovely and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a positive and happy place. It’s full of hope. That’s our word.”
Jan Stuelcken is a member of an essential support network at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse: our volunteers. A helping hand since Chris O’Brien Lifehouse opened, Jan has been volunteering two days a week, every week, for five years. Predominantly at the support desk next to reception, Jan is one of the welcoming faces of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. She offers her ear and a friendly smile to everyone who walks through the door. Throughout her time at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, she has developed a better understanding of the needs of those undergoing a cancer diagnosis, “In this role I’ve learnt to just listen and let people talk. You have to be a comfort and a sounding board because often someone just wants to be hugged or grab a cup of coffee.”
As part of volunteering at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Jan takes part in Arterie, an art therapy program for patients and staff. From weaving to embroidery, Jan uses the program to unwind. “I do quite a few of Arterie’s different projects, I just find it really therapeutic. In the past I’ve found the amount of grief and stress and anxiety to be quite overwhelming, so its really nice to have my art and craft.”
Volunteers like Jan allow Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to continue to provide the support needed by someone undergoing a cancer diagnosis. It is through these support networks that Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is able to provide a holistic model of care to each patient.
You can join Jan and our inspiring community of volunteers, learn more at donate.mylifehouse.org.au/volunteer.