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We are committed to providing specialist palliative care, advice, support and respite to patients and their families living in Somerset and parts of neighbouring counties. Our care is available for ...

Health & wellbeingOlder people

Bereavement Support Worker

4–15 hrs/wk
Support work
Talking to othersCounselingListening
Community & familyHealth & wellbeing
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SummaryProviding information and emotional support for those who have been affected by the death of a person close to them.
Detailed description

About you

If you have experience in actively listening, have good verbal communication skills, are looking to learn and develop your skills and can share in our vision and enthusiasm to make a difference, we would love to talk to you about this role and the work of St Margaret’s.

Main tasks and activities

  • To provide telephone support from hospice premises to bereaved relatives and friends as assigned by the Bereavement Services Coordinators.
  • To actively listen to bereaved clients and empathically explore their thoughts and feelings around their bereavement and grief. You will always be mindful that within this therapeutic relationship you are providing ‘support’ and not counselling to help the client explore their unique experience of grief.
  • To work within the boundaries defined by your role and training to ensure safety of both your clients and yourself.
  • To refer clients back to the Bereavement Service Co-ordinators if the work is moving beyond the remit of your role or limits of competence.
  • To pass on appropriate information to the Bereavement Team Coordinators and maintain clear, up to date electronic and written notes and ensure they are kept securely.
  • If agreed, to provide one-to-one support working to an ‘agreement’ with the bereaved person, providing clarity for: The duration of the agreement, the frequency of meetings, the agreement arrangements, the service offered
  • Maintain confidentiality in accordance with St Margaret’s confidentiality policy.
  • Inform the Bereavement Services Coordinators of any difficulties experienced during a call or one-to-one session.
  • Actively participate in supervision, team meetings and training.

Time commitment

  • The commitment of a bereavement support worker is to provide a minimum of 4 hours service support per week.
  • You are required to attend induction and update training.

What we offer

  • The opportunity to make a real difference.
  • A comprehensive training and development package including attending the ‘Supporting People through Loss and Grief’, six week course.
  • Additional training courses can be attended if appropriate to the role.
  • Broadening interpersonal skills, knowledge and expertise working alongside a diverse range of professions.
  • Enhance your CV.
  • Travel expenses paid for some training.
  • Support from your service coordinator.
  • Regular update opportunities including newsletters and events.
  • Regular supervision.
  • You will gain experience of providing invaluable support to people.
  • You will be a valued member of the wider St Margaret’s team.
  • You will be supporting your local community.

We are looking for someone with the following:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Transferable skills
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative ideas
  • Good verbal and listening skills and to be able to respond appropriately, suspending one’s own judgment, when working with people who are very distressed and bereaved and without feeling a need to ‘fix’ the situation.
  • Remain calm in stressful situations and to deal sensitively with people with an awareness and respect for the individual.
  • Emotionally resilient and grounded in one’s own life in order to deal with the demands of the role, especially if you have experienced personal bereavement.
  • Reflect on your work and yourself and develop and change as you improve your skills and develop self-awareness.
  • Maintain personal boundaries and confidentiality.
  • Good self-care and have a willingness to seek support and supervision if you are struggling in any way with the work.
  • Keen interest in the hospice and the services it offers.
  • Good sense of humour, work as part of the team and be willing to offer support to colleagues.
  • Please note: The hospice would not normally support moving into the role of a Bereavement Support Volunteer for anyone who has been bereaved for less than 18 months however the Bereavement Services Co-ordinators are happy to discuss this further with potential volunteers.
About St Margaret's Hospice Care
We are committed to providing specialist palliative care, advice, support and respite to patients and their families living in Somerset and parts of neighbouring counties. Our care is available for those who have a terminal or life-limiting illness, for example cancer, motor neurone disease and chronic lung disease.
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