Focus on running a bereavement support group
As the facilitator of a Bereavement Support Group you make a real difference to the lives of bereaved people. You are not a counsellor, but are there to create a safe environment where bereaved people can come together and share their thoughts and feelings with others who can support them on their grief journey.
Lucy is a Facilitator for a bereavement support group that Rosedale runs in Beccles and Bungay.
“I joined Rosedale as a Funeral Administrator five years ago and very quickly decided that I wanted to do more to support the bereaved families that we care for and I find my job incredibly rewarding. Some of our groups run during the day and some during the evening, to ensure that we are accessible to everyone that may need support.”
“Each group runs for an 8 week period following a set programme which includes discussions, memory work and watching DVD’s. We try to run 2-3 groups a year according to the demand locally. When a group finishes, I also co-ordinate a friendship group where there is an opportunity to meet together once a month, and I organise activities such as a Walk of Remembrance or Christmas wreath making workshop or it could be something that particularly resonates with the group and we might end up having an evening getting instruction on basic car maintenance or sharing recipes and ideas on cooking for one.”
“In addition to running the groups, my work has involved finding out about other organisations that we can signpost families to for specialist support such as the Suicide Support Group or Cruse. One that has become very special to me is Nelsons Journey, who support bereaved children and I now also volunteer my services at the therapeutic weekends for children and young people.”
“Obviously to do what we do, you need to be a naturally caring and kind person and we all undergo a check on our background and also need to be First Aid trained. There are lots of skills that you need to utilise, obvious ones being confidentiality, listening, communicating effectively, managing a group of people and empathising, but you also need to be good at planning, preparation and record keeping. It is demanding work and you need to be sure to look after yourself as well, but there is provision in place for me to seek help if I need it.”
“I was given really good training and families provide me with positive feedback and I know that they really appreciate the work that I do to help them along their journey through grief.”