volunteer stories: helping the bereaved in Richmond Borough

by Katherine Mathers
July 13, 2023

what is it like to be part of a dedicated team supporting individuals and families in their grief?  our volunteers share what it means to them.

why I volunteer for space2grieve…

I retired more than 10 years ago and wanted to find voluntary work that would both use my existing skills and give me the feeling that I was doing something that would make a difference to other people. The area of voluntary work that interested me most was being a bereavement supporter. In a sense, it was a field in which I had some personal interest and experience having lost my father at an early age. Had a similar charity to space2grieve been around at that time, I would have really benefited from the support.

Working with clients is both challenging and satisfying. It is a privilege to be able to form a rapport with a total stranger and to be able to offer them unconditional support as we work together to explore their grief and loss.

As a volunteer it is wonderful to feel part of a dedicated and motivated team. I feel very lucky to be part of space2grieve – whilst I work with clients on an individual basis, we work as a team, and I have met some wonderful people doing so!” 


it’s a place I can consistently learn as a volunteer…

I am delighted to volunteer as a Bereavement Support Specialist for space2grieve. The training and ongoing support I receive through regular supervision and the dedicated team of specialists on hand, helps me feel confident to support those in the community who have lost a loved one through bereavement. The more I volunteer, the more I learn. And I love being a local, volunteering for my local charity!


i’ve found new friends …

When some of my friends heard that I was training to volunteer as a specialist bereavement supporter with space2grieve, they asked, ” Why? Wouldn’t it be very depressing?

On the contrary it is extremely rewarding!  It can at times be heartbreaking to hear from clients about their loss. More and more though, I feel incredibly privileged to be part of someone’s private journey through their grief, to watch them develop an understanding of what they are experiencing, and to help them build strategies to cope is immensely fulfilling.

I now also have a new set of friends, and love that I can do something outside my own four walls for others, with others. 


it fulfils a personal mission…

My brother died when I was 10.  No one explained anything to me, the funeral was held without my knowledge, no one told me that my school friends had been informed.  No one spoke about him.  No one cried.  I was frightened, bewildered and anxious.  I felt unable to share these feelings because no one was prepared to listen empathically.  I did not realise these were symptoms of grief.  My mission was to ensure that no child was to suffer like I did after a death.

Since then I have become a mother and grandmother! I am passionate about children and through therapy I have learned how it feels to be listened to empathically and without judgement.  I feel I can transfer these skills to bereaved children and young people and to parents who need support to parent through grief.

What I value about being a volunteer for space2grieve is the unique relationship I form with my clients. I learn something from every client I support. I feel good knowing that I have made a difference to someone’s life.

Mary, Safeguarding lead

i can use my professional skills to help steer the charity

I volunteer for space2grieve as a trustee. It’s been a roller-coaster experience to help get the charity off the ground to deliver essential bereavement services to local residents across the borough of Richmond. Volunteering is always two-way: whilst I have provided professional and technical support to help with the organisational structure of the charity, I have learnt lots of new skills, and gained new friendships along the way.  It is so rewarding on many levels.”  

Barbara, Trustee

would you like to volunteer for us?

If you would like to make a difference to the lives of people in grief and volunteer for a local charity in Richmond Borough, please give us a call. There are many ways to help, we would love to hear from you.

if you’ve been bereaved, no matter when, no matter how, space2grieve can support you.
get in touch

0751 937 6363

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