St Clare Hospice in need of extra GriefLine volunteers

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Published on: Friday 23 Feb 2024 at 17:09

GriefLine – the free helpline run by St Clare Hospice to offer emotional support to bereaved people – is urgently in need of extra volunteers to be at the end of the phone for those struggling with their grief. 

GriefLine (01279 945089) extended its opening hours in October 2023 and now needs more volunteers to answer calls from those seeking a safe and confidential space to talk about how they are feeling after someone has died.

Griefline is available from 8am to 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and up until 8pm Tuesday and Thursday. It is there for anyone who is struggling with their grief, whether their loss was recently or in the past, or who is looking for support for a relative, friend or young person. GriefLine volunteers are trained to offer a listening ear as well as help callers access other services and local community resources that might be useful to them.

GriefLine project manager Chloe Rich said: “Grief is a natural process, but it’s unique to every person and you never know which days will be harder than others when someone is missing from your life. Which is why GriefLine is an invaluable service for people who are struggling with their grief and want to talk about how they are feeling with someone who understands.

“Due to demand, we made the decision to extend the GriefLine opening hours back in October and we want to ensure there is a friendly voice to take every call we receive. We now need more volunteers who could spare a few hours to be at the end of the phone. No previous experience or skills are necessary, as full training and ongoing support will be given.”

An online information session for anyone interested in becoming a GriefLine volunteer to find out more about the role is being held on Wednesday 13th March at 5.30pm. There will be the opportunity to learn more about the GriefLine service, the difference it makes and what is involved in becoming a GriefLine volunteer from others who are already doing the role.

Trudi Bailey has been a GriefLine volunteer for just over a year. The former nurse said it not only gives her a sense of fulfilment that she is giving back to those in her community who are in need, but it has helped her regain her confidence having had to leave her 35-year nursing career for health reasons.

Trudi said: “After giving up work, I spent about eight months just rattling around before reaching the point where I felt like I wanted to get back out there and do something worthwhile again. I’ve lived locally all my life and had heard of St Clare Hospice through my work as a nurse. So, I had a look at the volunteer opportunities available and the GriefLine role felt like something that I could do.

“After full training and lots of support, I started in January last year and haven’t looked back. It’s given me a renewed sense of purpose, helped me regain my confidence and my self-esteem has increased. I also love being part of a team again, which was something that was missing from my life.”

Trudi added: “Throughout my nursing career, I cared for people who were going through a difficult time in their lives, or who had suffered a bereavement. As a GriefLine volunteers, it’s my job to simply listen and let them know that what they are feeling and experiencing is a normal process, and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

“Being a GriefLine volunteer is so fulfilling and I feel like I’m giving back. Callers trust you with their deepest confidences and what’s going on in their lives, and that’s a great privilege. One of the things people mention time and again is the feeling of isolation surrounding loss and grief. They feel like they are alone, but they’re not. We’re here to support them and we want to help. No one has to cry alone.”

For more information and to register for the GriefLine volunteer information session, click here. Alternatively, email Chloe Rich at chloe.rich@stclarehospice.org.uk.

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