Pamela's Story | Cruse Bereavement Care

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Pamela Rutter has been a volunteer for Cruse for over 28 years and most recently was the Chair of Trustees. During her time at Cruse, Pamela has been responsible for widening our organisation's reach and supporting staff and volunteers, in working with and on behalf of bereaved people. 

Pamela says: “I am immensely proud and humbled to be a part of this amazing organisation. Twenty seven eight ago I had not heard of Cruse when a work colleague asked me to attend a local branch management committee meeting in an advisory capacity. I was immediately struck by the dedication and commitment of this group of volunteers, holding down their own careers but finding time not only to sit on a management committee but also to work directly with bereaved people, to supervise and to train other volunteers.

“Having supported bereaved people in a Hospice setting I was all too familiar with the devastation of grief and the difference having someone to talk to and be ‘present’ with can make. I became determined to use any and all of whatever skills I had to champion the work of Cruse, its volunteers and staff.

“Because of a number of recent personal losses at the time, including my parents and partner I decided it best to become a management volunteer, eventually taking on the roles of Vice Chair and Chair within my local Branch on the Wirral. I was involved in producing a successful bid to the National Lottery in 1999 to establish the North West as a Region, I then served as Regional Chair, Regionally Elected Member to Council and as a Trustee on the Executive committee. In 2014 I became the Vice Chair of Cruse and was honoured to be asked to complete my tenure as a Trustee as the National Chair in 2018.  

“Cruse has grown and developed in so many ways over the last 60 years but perhaps our greatest achievement is that despite societal evolution in all its many facets, it has remained true to the legacy of its founder, Margaret Torrie.  Margaret’s firm belief that skilled and trained volunteers could support bereaved people to open a door to a worthwhile future despite their loss, remains at the heart of the organisation today. We understand life is never the same after losing a loved one, we carry them always in our hearts. As Margaret Torrie did, we continue to advocate on behalf of bereaved people highlighting the problems they face and helping to educate society on the devastating physical, mental and isolating effect bereavement can have.  

“Our ongoing vision to provide support in a way that suits each person that contacts us and to reach areas where there is little or no support for bereaved people, demands development in a number of ways. My role in this, over the last five years in particular, has been to work on the transformation of our Governance throughout Cruse’s Network and to recruit a diverse and skilled Board of Trustees.

“With the guidance of Cruse Council and the expertise and wide ranging knowledge within our Board, our professional, loyal staff and compassionate, skilled and dedicated volunteers I have every confidence Cruse will honour Margaret Torrie’s legacy in meeting the challenges of the next 60 years.

“I have enjoyed many special moments representing Cruse. I have learnt much from world-renowned experts in the field of bereavement, been privileged to share so many personal stories, worked alongside caring and professional staff and been supported by a brilliant team of Trustees, all of which I treasure. But two things that underpin everything are:

  • the enduring memory of time spent with bereaved people who have come to Cruse and have shared their personal stories of the support we have given and the difference it has made to their lives;
  • time shared with volunteers who have given so much so selflessly to bring hope into the lives of so many.

“Whatever their role, what volunteers give to each other, to Cruse and to the many thousands of people who come to us is beyond measure. It was an added privilege to present a number of Volunteer Awards at our 60th anniversary Conference in recognition of their amazing work.  They drive my passion and inspiration to ensure the direction we take and the changes we make are truly for the benefit of bereaved children, young people and adults, wherever and in whatever circumstances and from whatever background or culture they come to us for support.”

Read more 60 Voices, here.