trustee story: how volunteering with space2grieve has brought emotional rewards

by Rob Owen
June 6, 2024

Trustee, Dr Rob Owen, writes about his experience volunteering for space2grieve and how it has had some unexpected emotional benefits.

how i found space2grieve

In November 2022, Richmond CVS organised an online recruitment evening for potential trustees on behalf of charities based in the borough. I attended looking for an opportunity to volunteer where I could leverage my personal skills and expertise and enhance the clinical effectiveness and organisational reach of a local charity.

The chair of space2grieve gave an impressive two minute presentation which piqued my interest! I got in touch with the charity and had an in depth interview with the cofounders. Their dedication and professionalism confirmed to me that this was the right place to volunteer.

Given my counselling and psychotherapy background, it was suggested that I be a trustee overseeing the clinical aspects of the charity. Apart from attending quarterly trustee meetings, my commitment involves monthly meetings supervising a group of volunteers and a sub-committee of supervisors. As part of our pastoral care commitment, I also offer counselling sessions for volunteers.

i joined a remarkable team of volunteers dedicated to supporting bereaved individuals and families

When I joined space2grieve, I discovered a remarkable team of volunteers dedicated to supporting local residents and families struggling in grief. Several volunteers and staff members are highly qualified counsellors or psychotherapists, others come from all walks of life, including a lawyer, a medical doctor, a dentist, and other significant professionals. All are so warm and generous with their time.

Through volunteering we can make a tangible difference on so many levels. In my role as a clinical supervisor there is a richness in providing guidance and mentorship to our volunteers to enhance their skills and effectiveness and the quality of care and support for our clients.

what space2grieve has given to me

Volunteering can offer many things, often some surprising emotional rewards.

After that first interview with the cofounders, I realised that I still held unresolved grief dating back to childhood. Moreover, I recently had an ‘epiphany’ that I came from a family that did not seem to mourn or grieve. I was aware of the origins of my grief for a long time, and since working in space2grieve, I have found it is not an uncommon experience for individuals.

I very much hope that our culture has changed since my childhood and that all adults and children are permitted to
attend the necessary rituals around death, and be allowed to grieve in their own way.

would you like to volunteer for space2grieve?

If you would like to make a difference to the lives of people in grief in Richmond borough, find out more about volunteering for space2grieve here. Alternatively please give us a call on 0751 937 6363.

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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