Deloris, aged 71 from Wolverhampton has been a bereavement volunteer for Cruse Wolverhampton and Dudley for over 10 years. As well as supporting bereaved people, Deloris is also responsible for fundraising in the area and was recently presented with the Fundraiser of the Year award at our 60th anniversary conference for her outstanding dedication to Cruse.
Deloris says: “I have been a volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Care for over 10 years. My background is nursing but in 1993 l embarked on a counselling diploma to help patients who were losing or had lost their sight so I have seen at first hand the effect of loss and bereavement.
“When I decided to retire, I wanted to volunteer as a counsellor but had no idea what area I should embark on. There was an advert in the local paper asking for Cruse Bereavement Volunteers. I had never heard of Cruse but I applied immediately and was accepted and trained in 2008 to become a volunteer.
“Once I completed my training I expressed my interest in fundraising as this is something I had done over the years for charity. I enjoy my role as a volunteer and what keeps me going is seeing the difference in clients from first contact to final session. At Cruse we listen and help with coping strategies to enable our bereaved clients to continue positivity with their lives.
“It was less than two years after volunteering I experienced my own loss. My husband of 42 years suddenly passed away. I found myself stepping into the shoes of my clients navigating my way through my own grief. It can be challenging at times listening to someone’s grief, but you have to lock down your own grief and focus on theirs.
“I enjoy my role as a volunteer and fundraiser, I was made Head of Fundraising in 2015 and though it is challenging and demanding I am passionate about what I do as it makes a difference to the ongoing services of Cruse. Including keeping the training updated which is essential to meeting the needs of our volunteers and clients as loss and bereavement is becoming more complex in our changing world.
“If you are a good listener and want to help someone who is bereaved, join our wonderful team of volunteers at Cruse.”
In July 2019, Deloris was presented with the Fundraiser of the Year award at our 60th anniversary conference in Birmingham for her commitment to Cruse. Earlier in the year she arranged a special charity ball to mark Wolverhampton and Dudley’s 40th anniversary. Her daughter, Beverley Knight performed alongside a fantastic line-up of other singers which helped to raised £35,000 for the area.
Read more 60 Voices, here.