Bereavement Supporter

Volunteer role description

Bereavement Support Volunteer

At St Christopher’s we put people at the heart of everything we do. We believe that all dying people and those close to them deserve to have the best care and support, wherever and whenever they need it. We do all we can to make this happen, providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to over 7,500 people across south east London every year. People like you, your mum, your dad, your nan, your sister, your friend, your neighbour.

Why we need your help

You will play a huge part in helping us to achieve our vision, in which all dying people and those close to them have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it.

What time should you offer?

In addition to the training sessions (details below), we’d hope that you could offer, ideally, at least two sessions a week. Each session is an hour long.

 Our bereavement supporters take part in a lengthy training course which is quite an investment, so ideally you would be able to stay with us for two years after the training is complete – we’d love you to stay longer!

Where will you be based?

In one of our buildings:

St Christopher’s Hospice, 51-59 Lawrie Park Road, Sydenham, London, SE26 6DZ

Caritas House, Tregony Road, Orpington, Kent, BR6 9XA


What activities will you be involved in as part of this volunteer role?

  • Offering bereavement support to individuals either face to face or by telephone
  • Helping with our bereavement evenings and/or bereavement groups
  • Clearly and accurately write reports and letters and maintain records



Unsupported image type.What you can gain from volunteering in this role


  • Join an enthusiastic team, meet new people and get more involved in your local community
  • Use and develop your skills, enhancing your CV if that is important to you
  • Know you are helping dying people in your local community have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it.

Training and support provided

  • Bereavement Support Volunteer Training including St Christopher’s mandatory training  which will be either 4 days in October/November or 6 days in February/ March
  • Twice monthly supervision on weekdays, and regular on-going training sessions
  • Ongoing support from the Bereavement team and Volunteering team


What we are looking for


  • Experience of caring/providing support for others
  • Experience of adapting to loss
  • Basic counselling skills to a minimum of a one year certificate level (counselling Diploma is desirable)
  • If you have no formal qualification you will need to demonstrate that you have substantial equivalent experience*

Attributes and skills

  • Compassionate listener and clear communicator
  • Emotional resilience in the face of the difficult circumstances that can affect bereaved people
  • Ability to respect others’ differences and choices
  • Ability to follow our policies and procedures to keep you, patients and families and staff safe
  • Ability to represent St Christopher’s and our values positivity
  • Willingness to learn, adapt and embrace change when needed
  • Capacity for reflection
  • Can use a computer to write and send emails
  • Clearly and accurately write records and letters
  • Ability to articulate feelings
  • Ability to build good working relationships with clients and colleagues
  • Ability to work in a group
  •  Ability to follow our policies and procedures to keep you, our staff, our patients   and our customers safe
  •  Ability to represent St Christopher’s and our values positively.


Anything else you need to know

  • There is a short settling in period to see if the role is right for you
  • You must be 18 years old or over to do this role
  • This role will require the following pre-volunteering checks: an enhanced DBS check and two references
  • At St Christopher’s we believe that no volunteer should be out of pocket because of their volunteering. The reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred whilst volunteering will help ensure volunteering is accessible to all. All expenses to be reclaimed should be agreed with the manager/supervisor or the Volunteer Engagement Coordinator in advance


Equality and Diversity


St Christopher’s recognises the qualities and strengths that a diverse group of volunteers brings to the organisation and we therefore particularly welcome applications from our underrepresented groups from within the local communities and from a range of different cultures and backgrounds.