Whether you’ve been told that you need to have an ileostomy or an internal pouch, are already living with one or are a family member or carer of someone who is, the benefit of speaking to someone who has been through surgery shouldn’t be underestimated. The thought of surgery generates a range of emotions such as fear, anger or worry, and speaking with an IA Trained One2One Support Volunteer can help to alleviate those concerns.
IA Trained One2One Support Volunteers are people like you. They have been through surgery and have been living with an ileostomy or internal pouch for at least 18 months. IA’s Trained Volunteers go through training on how to listen, communicate and provide guidance to people before or after surgery.
They are not there to tell you what to do: their primary aim is to listen, to help you make sense of your thoughts and concerns. It is not about the Trained Volunteer telling their story, but about them listening to you and drawing on their own experiences to help you.
IA Trained One2One Support Volunteers do not offer medical advice, as they are not medically trained, or give advice on stoma products; this is something that you should discuss with your stoma care nurse. However, they can give you an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on, all from the perspective of someone who’s been in the same situation and understands first-hand.
Anyone can request an IA Trained One2One Support Volunteer to get in touch; you don’t need to be a member of IA to benefit from this service.
A Birmingham IA Trained One2One Support Volunteer can meet you face to face in hospital, at home or at a mutually convenient place; or they can talk by telephone or by email. IWe have a number of volunteers in Birmingham will try to match you by age, gender, surgery type and lifestyle preferences so that you know you will be speaking to someone similar to yourself. There really is no substitute for talking to someone who understands how you feel.