Written by Joy Elliot – Patient and Family Support at ACCORD Hospice
I write this with great gratitude for how the Bereavement Support Volunteers support the bereavement service at ACCORD.
The volunteers that are part of our team are invaluable in their commitment and how willingly they give their time to the service. The time they have given goes from 4 years to nearly 20 years of dedicated service. The work they are involved in allows a support out with friends and family. Often in grief, families try not to upset each other. The bereavement service offers a safe confidential space where the family or friend can come to and be supported.
The volunteers are all trained to counselling skills level with a breadth of knowledge and understanding of grief and loss. We here at ACCORD are very fortunate to have such willing and dedicated volunteers in so many different areas. For me, as the team lead of the Patient & Family Support Service, I appreciate just how much these volunteers allow the service to run in the way it does. They not only support the day to day service they also give their time to the annual service of Remembering which again is a very important part of our support for families.
They do not often feature in photographs due to the nature of the work they do but I am so aware of the time that they give is a bit hidden, but equally as valuable in supporting our communities to live with the grief they have.
We were just about to embark on another group of volunteer training in May which has been postponed due to the current circumstance. I am hopeful that his training will take place in the coming months but moved to a virtual platform. Without the support of volunteers we could not provide the level of care and support, so the training of new volunteers is very important for our service.