Are you 3 or more years past your own loss? Would you be willing to reach out to support more newly bereaved parents?
If so, we would encourage you to consider our grief companion role. As a grief companion you would be helping a more recently bereaved parent by providing informal support and friendship to them in the early months following the death of their child. Your support will be offered to the parent for up to a year. This can be such an important way for parents to access peer support and particularly so where there is no face-to-face local support or group in their area.
You may also find that this is a lovely way to honour the memory of your own child, by providing comfort to others. It can be a way to acknowledge the skills and experience you have developed through your grief and help support you in your own journey through loss.
TCF's Grief Companion Scheme scheme began as a pilot project. Many matches have now been made with parents benefitting greatly from this one-to-one, peer support. 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 grief companion, you will be using your own experience and ways of coping to be alongside another bereaved parent. Some of the qualities that make a good grief companion 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.
Our Grief Companion Coordinator, Shirley, will offer you guidance in your role and will be on hand to advise and support you where required. If you would like to discuss the role before applying, please contact Shirley at email@example.com and she will be happy to help.
If you feel ready to apply to be a grief companion, please complete the online application form below. The questions about your own loss, including brief details about how your child/children have died, will help us to find a suitable match with the more newly bereaved parent.
When a match is made, we ask all our grief companions to complete a Disclosure Barring Certificate (DBS) check, as you will be supporting grieving (vulnerable) adults. The fee for this is paid for directly by The Compassionate Friends.
If you would like to apply to be a volunteer Grief Companion for another more newly bereaved parent please complete this online form with as much information as you can give us. This helps us to find a suitable parent for you to befriend.
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Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.