With three centres already set up in Lewisham, Bromley and Crystal Palace and plans for a forth one in Croydon; our new Bereavement Help Points are part of a pioneering project to assist people in our communities seeking support following bereavement.
Created by St Giles Hospice in the West Midlands in 2012, Bereavement Help Points are a place where the public can access information and guidance on bereavement services in their local area. The Help Points are staffed by volunteers who have experience talking with people facing loss and are able to listen to visitors as well as help them understand and ‘normalise’ the feelings they are having. This is not a counselling service, but rather volunteers will be trained and supported by the Bereavement Team at St Christopher’s to meet visitors at the Help Points and sign-post community services and St Christopher’s services that they might find helpful.
One focus of the Help Points is to bring together people with shared experiences of bereavement and enable them to create their own groups of mutual support and care to help them deal with the challenges and emotions they face.
The Bereavement Help Points are currently running weekly drop-in sessions at Lewisham Carers Centre in Forest Hill from 2pm – 4pm every Wednesday, the United Reformed Church in Bromley from 10am – 12pm every Wednesday and Upper Norwood Library in Crystal Palace from 10am – 12 noon every Thursday.
But we need your help! We’re seeking volunteers to staff our Bereavement Help Points. Volunteers will ideally have some experience of bereavement and aim to use their experience to provide a listening ear, empowering those struggling with grief by providing choices at a time of when people often feel powerless.
So, if you are a good listener, or you know someone who is, please contact our Volunteering Team on 0208 768 4669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more information about this and other volunteering opportunities on our website.