Pendleside Hospice appealing for volunteer to run suicide bereavement support group for people in Burnley and Pendle
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The charity is ideally looking for someone who has also been bereaved by suicide to better relate to group members.
Simon Frauts, the hospice’s Family Support Team Leader, said: "We need someone patient, kind, and compassionate who can show empathy and is a good listener.
"They don’t need to be a counsellor. They would volunteer a few hours a month and almost be like an active group member. They would contact people interested in the group, welcome them, and help them join the conversation."
The hospice, which also runs counselling sessions for suicide bereavement, launched the support group in 2020.
Simon said: "Some clients having counselling with us asked if we had a support group to help with the healing process. It was just after Caroline Flack took her own life. It made us think.
"The research shows people bereaved by suicide are more likely to die by it. There is a stigma around suicide. More than with any other death, it leads people to question: Why did this happen? Could it have been avoided? If [their loved one] had received help, would it have happened? That’s the big thing. It leaves a lot of questions.
"[Those left behind] almost feel embarrassed and ashamed about telling people what happened. It’s hard for them to reach out.
"The group aims to break down that barrier, help people come to terms with and process the suicide, and reduce the stigma. There is a therapeutic benefit to talking to others who are going through something similar. Getting understanding and empathy from others helps normalise emotions.
"The group is a community of people who no longer feel stigmatised and alone with their grief. It's a small group, and it gets people talking."
To express interest in volunteering or to self-refer to the support group and one-to-one counselling, please ring Simon on 01282 440102.