Local Support Volunteer

  • VO86522
  • Home-based volunteering


Description

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is a charitable organisation of bereaved parents dedicated to the support and care of other similarly bereaved parents who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age and from any cause. Many people who have suffered the loss of a child feel a bond with others in the same situation and wish to extend the hand of friendship.

Local Support Volunteers befriend and support other bereaved parents in their local area. You will be using your own experience and ways of coping to be alongside another bereaved parent through offering empathy, understanding, reassurance and hope. Your support will be offered via telephone, email or face-to-face meetings.

Bereaved parents may be referred to you by our national helpline, through word of mouth or because you have publicised your support locally. You will be supporting newly bereaved parents in the first months of their loss as well as parents who are longer bereaved. The parents you will be supporting will have lost a child aged between 1 month old up to an adult child. Their loss may be through any circumstances. Some parents may only require support for a short period of time, others will need your support for longer.

Where appropriate, you may put parents in your area (often with similar bereavement experiences) in touch with one another so that they can support each other and develop friendships. You may also work closely with your local volunteer group facilitator (if there is a group nearby) to encourage parents to access this group support too, where appropriate.

For this volunteer support role, we ask that you
have been bereaved for at least three years. This is a general guideline and may vary from volunteer to volunteer
have or are willing to join TCF as a donating member
have been supported by TCF in some way, either via the Helpline or a local or group support contact, have attended a supportive weekend or participated in the online Forum or Facebook groups
attend a Group Facilitation Information and Training Day or other training, where relevant, read the Volunteer Handbook, and make every effort to attend any on-going Information and Development Days
abide by TCF’s aims and objectives, policies, procedures and code of conduct

Organisation aims and objectives

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is a charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other similarly bereaved family members who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age and from any cause. Many people who have suffered the loss of a child feel a bond with others in the same situation and wish to extend the hand of friendship. We offer support, both directly to bereaved families, and indirectly by fostering understanding and good practice amongst professionals concerned with child death and by increasing public awareness.

Availability

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Morning
Afternoon
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Frequency and commitment details

This varies depending on the number of bereaved parents contacting - it can be as little as an hour a month or up to two hours a week.

Restrictions

We offer support to any bereaved parent, grandparent or sibling (over 18 years).
Experience required: Some of the qualities that make a good volunteer local support contact are: good listening and communication skills; high level of empathy; non-judgemental approach; respectful of others’ beliefs and opinions; consistent and dependable; resilient around your own loss; able to maintain confidentiality at all times.
Travel details: No need to travel out of local area.
Minimum age: 18

Support

Expenses paid: Yes
Expenses details: Should any expenses be incurred by the volunteer (as per expenses policy) then these will be reimbursed by TCF.
Training details: All volunteers are required to attend a Group Facilitation Information and Training Day or other training, where relevant, read the Volunteer Handbook, and make every effort to attend any on-going Information and Development Days, online refresher training and support.

Last updated 3 months ago

Please note, organisations are currently experiencing a large volume of enquiries from people looking to help out. They may not always be able to meet this demand so please be patient, you may not receive a quick response or be assigned to a role.