Compassionate Friends (The)

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.


Current opportunities

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. 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. A support group facilitator runs (often with one or more other facilitators) a monthly support group meeting for bereaved parents. Support group facilitators create a caring, safe and supportive atmosphere that encourages group members to share their grief and experiences. A support group facilitator will do more listening than talking and will be resilient and comfortable listening to the experiences and feelings of others. We offer all support group facilitators an Information and Training Day which equips you with the information and skills to run group meetings, as well as guidance in applying one’s own experience to support others. The facilitator also has the support of our regional coordinators and TCF office staff. The group facilitator role is a very rewarding one, and epitomises the best of peer support. In supporting others, we also support ourselves. We are looking for bereaved parents who are at least 3 years on from their own bereavement and who are feeling more ‘resilient’ around their loss. As a local group facilitator, you will be using your own experience and ways of coping to support other bereaved parents. Some of the qualities that make a good support group facilitator are: good listening and communication skills; high level of empathy; non-judgemental approach; confident and able to hold your own in group situations; respectful of others’ beliefs and opinions; consistent and dependable; resilient around your own loss; able to maintain confidentiality at all times at least three years past your own bereavement have or would be 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

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