I want to speak to someone

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 Volunteer can help to alleviate those concerns.

IA Trained 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 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 Volunteer to get in touch; you don’t need to be a member of IA to benefit from this service.

An IA Trained 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. IA will endeavour 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. Contact IA today to arrange to speak to someone.

To arrange to speak to someone (or on behalf of someone else), please complete the online form below. Alternatively you can get in touch via phone or email and we can arrange this for you. Our contact details are available on our Contact Us page.

A small selection of IA Trained Volunteer profiles are below – why not take a look and see what inspired them to want to help.