Volunteer as a Bereavement Supporter

Help support bereaved people in your local area and online.

We provide support to thousands of bereaved people every year. For many this will be the time they have asked for help with their grief. By becoming a bereavement volunteer, you’ll be working one-on-one with clients for up to six sessions of support.

Why become a bereavement volunteer?

  • Gain valuable skills in active listening
  • Get an understanding of key counselling techniques
  • Learn more about the grieving process
  • Access regular Continuing Progression and Development webinars
  • Join thousands of people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland changing the lives of bereaved people

I wanted to volunteer for Cruse because after my parents and brother died, I came to the conclusion that my purpose in life was to use my experiences of loss and bereavement to help other bereaved people.

Yolanda, Bereavement Volunteer

yolanda clarke

Am I suited?

You don’t need to be a trained counsellor or have previous experience to become a Bereavement Volunteer. We look for people who are good listeners, resilient and are empathetic and supportive.

Essential qualities:

  • Empathetic and warm
  • Proactive approach to self-care
  • Open to receiving feedback
  • Self-reflective approach to learning and development
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Comfortable talking about death and grief

We’re committed to protecting the wellbeing of our volunteers. That’s why if you’ve recently had an important bereavement, we kindly ask you to wait two years before volunteering with us.

Time commitment

We offer clients up to six sessions of support, usually once a week and we normally ask you to see two clients at a time. You’ll be able to hold sessions at a time that works for you, whether that be during the day, early evening or weekends.

Training and support

Every volunteer receives full training, irrespective of previous skills and knowledge, so you will feel fully prepared when you meet your first client.

  • Free Bereavement Foundation training

Four sessions of four hours delivered on Zoom by experienced trainers. This training includes grief theories and models, in-depth awareness of the impact of grief, and an opportunity for experiential learning.  This is followed by additional skills practice and a self care webinar, training for ongoing telephone and zoom support, safeguarding, working with suicidal clients and trauma awareness.

  • Supervision

All volunteers are assigned a supervisor to make sure they are supported in their role. Volunteers form small groups, meeting once a month for two hours with an experienced supervisor. Here you would be able to discuss the process of your work, explore concerns and celebrate successes. Bereavement Volunteers need to be emotionally robust to help bereaved clients, so a high emphasis is placed on self-care and feeling fully supported through supervision.

  • Continuing professional development

Bereavement Volunteers are expected to attend at least 15 hours of CPD training per year. There will be regular opportunities to access training in the broad areas of grief and loss which is free. As we also work virtually, there will be organised social gatherings over zoom to meet with peers and enjoy time together.