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They are highly active people who, among all the things they do, have decided to dedicate some of their time to supporting people who have multiple sclerosis.
To do so they travel to the Cemcat centre, the patients' homes, or wherever they can be of assistance. Or they get involved in campaigns to raise awareness about the disease.
What they say is that they offer support, but also personally receive a great deal in return
The volunteers speak:
Being useful and meeting interesting people (Quinita): I volunteer because it is useful for others and for myself. I feel really welcome here. I have met a lot of very interesting people, with real spirit and talent. I have learned a great deal
A breath of fresh air and support (Judith): As volunteers we give patients vitality, and they also help us to gain psychological strength. When you are ill you often need a "breath of fresh air", someone to be there by your side who you can talk to about other things, and that is what we volunteers can provide. These conversations with them also offer me a great deal personally
Solidarity and emotion (Matilde): After working at the Theatre Institute for 25 years, I was encouraged to volunteer. I started at Fundació Esclerosi Múltiple and later at Cemcat. I run a reading workshop with patients on Thursday morning. We work on memory and have a good time. I enjoy the opportunity to contribute my experience, and am often moved by the conversations I have and the solidarity you see among the patients.
The areas where volunteers can support Cemcat are:
On Tuesdays and Thursdays volunteers help out in tasks at the centre's canteen, assisting patients who need help eating, and accompanying them during their lunch.
For example, there are volunteers who stage reading workshops, or who give occasional support for rehabilitation services such as art therapy.
Home companionship and home support
This includes the home reading service.
Medical appointments and activities
Volunteers accompany patients in dealing with paperwork, at medical appointments, leisure and/or sporting activities.
Social awareness campaigns
Collaborate in publicity and related activities as they arise.
Depending on volunteers' availability, there are two types of volunteering:
They support periodic activities, requiring fixed availability on the part of the volunteers (such as the canteen service).
They give support for one-off activities, which therefore requires specific dedication at a particular time.