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Carer Friends

Role Description: The bereavement befriender volunteer will provide a carer, with an opportunity of a regular `check-in` telephone call to see how they are. We aim for these calls to provide them with a chance to verbalise their thoughts and feelings, that day.

Role expectations:

  • To make time-boundaried regular calls to allocated carers who have been referred into the service
  • Provide active listening, response, reassurance and personalised support to enable carers to share emotions related to their grief and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • To enable the carer to verbalise how they are feeling
  • To promote and enable the carer to improve and nurture their emotional wellbeing
  • To enable the care to identify some coping strategies: gain some tools to support them through their grief. Ie: To make their own self-care plan & toolkit
  • To feedback details of the call to the Volunteer team and to raise any issues or concerns resulting from that call.

What difference will you make?

Here at Carers Support West Sussex (CSWS), we completely understand that everyone will experience their own unique journey in coping with loss. At the same time, we believe that connecting with others will provide a sense of support and a means of developing day-to-day coping strategies.

Culturally, we are not very good at talking about death, so the best thing you can do when talking to carers looking after someone who is dying is to provide a safe space for them to voice their fears and to listen in a non-judgemental way. Sometimes this pain is part of the process necessary for the carer to be able to come to terms with letting their loved one go. One of the certainties in life is that we will all experience the loss of those close to us at some point. However, having this knowledge still does not prepare us for the complexity of the feelings we will experience when the time comes. The depth and breadth of the emotions felt will be different for everyone, no one can predict the intensity.

Location: This role can we undertaken from anywhere in West Sussex and you will be supported virtually in your role.

Timings and commitment: Timings can be flexible to suit from a minimum of 1 hour per week/fortnight/month up to 3 hours depending upon how many calls you will be making. This is a pilot project with funding up until March `22. We would ask all volunteers to commit until the end of the pilot.

Skills and attributes required:

  • An empathetic caring approach when engaging with others
  • Active Listening skills
  • To be non-judgemental and be able to maintain personal boundaries
  • An understanding & insight for supporting others who have recently become bereft
  • Encourage and promote carer health and wellbeing
  • A sensitive attitude towards other people
  • Non-judgemental
  • Friendly and patient approach
  • Good communicator and ability to start up conversations with people easily
  • Able to accurately record information
  • Basic IT skills and access to computer/laptop/tablet

Training and Support:

There is the following mandatory training required:

  • CSWS Induction Training – 3hr session
  • Basic Adult Safeguarding – online session
  • Role specific training – CSWS in-house End-of-Life & Bereavement Support Training
  • GDPR (online)
  • LGBTQ+ front line worker training

Equipment needed?

The role is home based and you will need:

  • · Access to a computer or laptop
  • · Wifi access within your home

Support

  • A designated mentor will support you in your role and provide you with 1-1 reviews on the role. You will have opportunities to discuss any carer issues raised with your mentor to raise any concerns and ensure safeguarding.
  • An online monthly group supervision meeting with other Bereavement Befriender volunteers. These sessions will be facilitated by an external Counsellor.
  • You will be part of a wider volunteering team where you can access support on the administration requirements for the role, entering timesheets and claiming expenses.
  • There will be opportunities to meet with other volunteers and attend team meetings where appropriate.
  • Access to Workplace Employee Assistance Scheme
  • Opportunities for ongoing learning and personal development

Other information

  • This role is available to anyone over the age of 18yrs
  • We will require 2 References and a basic DBS check