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Volunteers needed to help bereaved families
A HOSPICE charity is looking for more volunteers to train to help families when they are bereaved.
Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care (IRGH) is seeking to train more Bereavement Support Volunteers, particularly to work in South Bucks.
The charity offers one-to-one support for family members of its former patients, and is facing growing demand for its services.
Former teacher Gill Coulshed said she has found the role as a volunteer enormously rewarding. Many of her clients are teenagers, because her teaching experience has given her relevant communication skills for this age group.
Gill said: "I see a lot of teenagers who are desperately unhappy. I’m so glad that I can be of some help to them. To see the transformation, and watch them getting on with life again is so rewarding."
Gill feels it is a privilege to have the opportunity to help people through what can be a very dark time.
Jackie Chamberlain, IRGH family support team co-ordinator, said more support volunteers are desperately needed in the High Wycombe area, and places such as Stokenchurch, Marlow, Flackwell Heath, Hazlemere, Penn, Wooburn Green and Stoke Poges.
Prospective volunteers will be invited for an interview in March, and those selected will begin a 10-session training course in May.
Following the training there is no guarantee that they will then be invited to work as a Bereavement Support Volunteer.
Jackie said: "Our Bereavement Support Volunteers are not counsellors, nor do they offer spiritual guidance, or advice. They understand that they cannot make things better. Their role is listening and offering empathetic support. Being a Bereavement Support Volunteer is a demanding role, but it is very rewarding."
The charity said prospective volunteers who have experienced a close bereavement themselves should wait at least two years after their bereavement before applying for the role.
Volunteers will need their own car and be willing to travel to visit their clients. Hours are flexible.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a Bereavement Support Volunteer should contact the IRGH Volunteer Services Team on 01494 877200.