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Losing a loved one can make you feel alone and isolated, but talking to a Bereavement Support Volunteer can help.

Our volunteers are there to listen to anyone who has been bereaved on the Isle of Wight. We want to support as many people as we can, and we can only do this with the help of our amazing volunteers.

We will be with you every step of the way with training and regular support.

You may have questions about this role, and we hope the information below will be useful. If you have any further questions, please do get in touch.

What does the role involve?

  • Offering bereavement support to people, either on the phone or face-to-face
  • Helping with our bereavement groups
  • Helping us to accurately maintain our records

What skills do I need?

  • A compassionate and caring listener
  • A good communicator
  • Understand about patient confidentiality
  • Be emotionally resilient in difficult circumstances

What training will I receive?

We will provide you with training covering the bereavement models and theories that are used when supporting a person who is grieving.

There will be a mixture of presentations, small group and pairs work, with the emphasis on how we learn together and grow our skills.

We will focus on listening skills and there will also be input around how volunteers look after their own health and welfare when supporting others who are vulnerable.

We will also provide you with information about organisations who can provide ongoing support to individuals who have been bereaved.

Will the training involve role play?

We use role play as part of the training – but the role play will be by the staff facilitating the training and not those receiving the training. Role play can be helpful in drawing out information and different perspectives but we are not expecting those attending the training to do these.

Is there a cost for the training?

No - but we would welcome those who complete the training and who go on to become bereavement support volunteers with Mountbatten to stay with us for at least a year, if they are able to.

I have experienced a significant bereavement recently. Can I attend the training?

We do find that sometimes a person who is grieving a significant bereavement wishes to support others with their grief. This is a natural and kind thing to want to do. We have found over many years that it can be difficult for a person who is grieving themselves to be able to support another person who is grieving – as it can be that powerful memories and emotions are triggered and these need to be attended to.

We would be able to discuss this when a person applies to become a Bereavement Support volunteer.