St Giles Hospice is appealing for volunteers to work with patients and their families facing loss and bereavement.

The Whittington hospice is looking for people willing to donate their time to support patients and their families on the in-patient unit and in the community, who are facing loss and change as well as in one to one bereavement support.

St Giles director of supportive care Nikki Archer said people considering volunteering for the roles would need to commit to training, as well as a regular weekly commitment to working in the hospice.

“Our volunteers are essential across the hospice and we are looking for some very special volunteers to help us in empowering patients in their last days of life and their families,” she said.

“We also need people willing to work on a one to one basis with people who are grieving as part of our bereavement support service, working with adults, children and young people.”

The hospice is running a Working with Bereavement and Loss course which anyone interested in volunteering with bereavement support will need to commit to. Those taking part in the course can then go forward to be considered for a role as a volunteer.

Volunteer Jane Morris took the course last year and is now volunteering with the bereavement support team at St Giles, a role which she says is an absolute privilege.

“When I took early retirement from my job as a teacher, I missed the pastoral care part of the role and wanted to do something which was about ‘putting something back’,” she said.

“Taking the course and joining the St Giles team is one of the best things I have ever done.

“The course really engaged my brain and the group were great people – no one was left to struggle and everyone shared experiences and knowledge.

“Now I work with clients on a bereavement support basis and it’s an absolute privilege and so humbling to be there alongside people as they go through their journey.

“It seemed a bit daunting when I started but I am now looking into doing more volunteering on the in-patient unit with patients and their families. It’s been so rewarding.”

To find out more about the course, which starts on September 14th and runs for 12 sessions, visit www.stgileshospice.com/event/working-with-loss-course.

There is a cost to attending the course, a percentage of which will be refunded if participants go on to volunteer in bereavement support at St Giles. A limited number of places are available for people working in related fields for professional development.