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Bereavement Support Volunteers

Martlets Hospice Volunteers
Brighton, East Sussex
Closing date
5 Dec 2021

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Contract Type
Part Time, Flexible
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Job Details

Bereavement Support Volunteers

This is a community-based role, working with bereaved family and friends of Hospice patients. Through regular home visits, the Bereavement Support Volunteers offer face-to-face emotional and social support to a person who has been bereaved. The role also supports bereavement events at the hospice in Hove.  

Where: In the homes of clients across Brighton, Hove and the surrounding area and at our Hospice in Wayfield Avenue, Hove, BN3 7LW. We are currently offering our services remotely by telephone and Zoom and are planning to re-introduce face-to-face support in 2022.

When: Days and times are negotiable according to a client’s needs plus monthly and quarterly bereavement support events.

Usual minimum. commitment:

  • To complete the eight-week Martlets Counselling and Bereavement Service Training (24 hours in total). This will be delivered on Wednesday evenings 17.45 – 21.00pm from 26/1/22 – 23/3/22 (excepting half-term on 16/2/22)

On completion of the training, volunteers should be able to commit to:

  • On average up to 12 home visits per client, usually lasting an hour.
  • To support Martlets bereavement groups: Quarterly Time to Remember group and a monthly Social Evening throughout the year
  • To participate in a monthly supervision group
  • Time and commitment to be agreed with Counselling and Bereavement Service Manager and service administrator

What you’ll be doing:

  • Establish face to face contact with a bereaved person usually within the first few months of their bereavement
  • To develop a supportive relationship with that person that enables them to talk about their bereavement, their feelings and any other issues raised relating to their changed circumstances and bereavement
  • To maintain appropriate records of visits, informing the hospice team before and each time a client is visited and ensure records are kept/left in a designated file at the hospice
  • To attend monthly supervision meetings and feedback issues raised by the visits within supervision sessions
  • To work sensitively and appropriately within the environment of the bereaved person’s own home and their family and possible other professionals involved with the person.
  • To help and offer support to the bereaved at the bereavement service group

Your skills and abilities:

  • To have insight and awareness of the work of a Hospice - Ideally to have experience in palliative care/death & dying/bereavement experience but not essential
  • To recognise one’s own personal boundaries and limitations within the role of being a Bereavement Support Volunteer and liaise with members of the Bereavement Support team as appropriate
  • To have a non-judgemental, accepting and emotionally mature approach to working with clients

Anything else I should know? We are able to pay travel expenses such as local bus fares and train tickets to help you access this volunteering role. 

Sounds good, what do I do next? Take a look at our role description and fill in our short registration form. 


Brighton has a long history of high-quality care for the dying, provided by charitable/philanthropic organisations. In 1935 the Tarner Home was established which, through a generous endowment, provided care to the seriously ill who could not afford private nursing home fees. On a similar basis, Coppercliff (which later became Coppercliff Hospice) came into existence in 1967, the same year that St Christopher’s Hospice opened under the leadership of Dame Cicely Saunders.

At the time, these two organisations were unique in the fact that as charities, they could provide their services at a cost affordable to everyone. Over the years, medical conditions became more complex and it was becoming impossible to meet patient’s needs from the restricted facilities of converted houses.

The purpose-built Martlets opened in 1997. The staff and services were formed from the merger of 3 separate charities: Coppercliff Hospice, Tarner and MacMillan Day Hospice; hence the 3 birds in the logo. A Martlet is a mythical heraldic bird which is thought to represent swallows. They are seen in the Sussex County crest and the Sussex County Cricket Club emblem. They are shown in flight with open wings and without feet, possibly because of the old belief that the swallow could never land. This reflects the Martlets ethos that we are perpetually in flight, never resting, always responding.

In 1997, the Martlets services consisted of 18 beds, with the Day Hospice opening 6 months later. Five years later the highly-valuable Hospice at Home service was established and 10 years after opening we launched Martlets Care, a commercial domiciliary care company providing quality care in the home and also providing a sustainable income stream for the hospice.

Since opening, the Martlets has benefitted from three major grants (exceeding £1.2 million pounds) from NHS England. These funds have enabled us to ensure that we can adapt to meet the changing needs of our patients and their families through the refurbishment and extension of our facilities.

Across the hospice services, over 25,000 local people have been cared for and/or supported since 1997.

Find Us
01273 273400
170 South Coast Road
BN10 8JH
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