Volunteers wanted to provide bereavement support in Richmondshire and Hambleton

Dozens of bereaved people will receive support this year after a hospice care charity received a grant of £20,000 to expand its bereavement service.

Northallerton-based Herriot Hospice Homecare, which operates in Richmondshire and Hambleton, is now seeking to recruit and train up to 12 volunteers who will help provide bereavement support.

The charity has been able to expand its service after receiving a grant from North Yorkshire County Council’s Innovation Fund.

It means that a further 39 bereaved people can be supported in 2017, alongside those who already receive support from the charity.

Tony Collins, Herriot Hospice Homecare’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding which will enable us to provide more support to adults who have experienced a bereavement.

“There is an ever-increasing demand for our service. It supports people to find a way to manage their grief and embrace a future where they can live and remember that person in a healthy and positive way.”

The people recruited by Herriot will undertake a thorough training programme before being assessed for their suitability for the role. The ten-week programme, consisting of three hours each Friday, will combine ‘lectures’ with interactive practical sessions, as well as home reading.

Once their initial training is complete, the volunteers – who will receive ongoing training and support – will provide direct support to a minimum of two people, with hour-long fixed fortnightly appointments taking place during the day at Herriot’s head office in Northallerton.

Tony added: “The volunteer roles could suit a wide range of people, including retired professionals, such as teachers and nurses, who are keen to continue utilising their skills and give something back to the community.

“We’re also eager to hear from individuals who have supported people either formally or informally and have an interest in bereavement.

“We need people who are empathic, non-judgmental, confident in their own ability and who understand that they can’t ‘fix’ a bereaved person.

“Whilst it can be emotionally challenging, it’s also such a satisfying and rewarding role.”

People interested in finding out more can contact Herriot Hospice Homecare for a full job description by calling 01609 777413 or emailing admin@herriothh.org.uk