Local Volunteer support contact
Local Volunteer Support Contacts 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
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.
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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.