Claire shares what she’s gained from volunteering at the Day to Remember events in Glasgow.

As a volunteer, you'll gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction and feel that you are making a difference, however small.

I found out about volunteering with Child Bereavement UK through an online search for volunteering opportunities supporting people through bereavement and loss.

I have been volunteering all my life and am currently employed as an NHS Voluntary Services Manager - volunteering is my passion. I am going to train as a counsellor in bereavement and loss and I felt volunteering with Child Bereavement UK would give me the skills, knowledge and experience I need for the future. It also gives me the chance to support families at the most difficult time in their life, when a parent, sibling or grandparent dies.

I support Child Bereavement UK staff to deliver the Day to Remember in Glasgow, which is offered to all those supported by the charity who have finished or are nearing the end of support. It brings families together for a day of fun activities to remember their special person who has died.

Volunteers are supported by Child Bereavement UK staff throughout the day and prior to volunteering you’re required to attend a training day where you learn about bereavement support and how the event is run. Every volunteer is also subject to a DBS check, which is paid for by Child Bereavement UK.  At the end of each Day to Remember, volunteers also participate in a debriefing session with Child Bereavement UK staff.

The Day to Remember sees families remember their loved one, play games and participate in activities that help them deal with their loss and pain. At certain points, the adults separate from the children to learn about the activities that their children are taking part in and to think about points to discuss with their child later. It also gives the adults a chance to meet others going through the same experience and to benefit from peer support.

I am able to bring care, compassion, empathy, excellent communication, listening and coordination skills to the volunteering role. In return it’s enabled me to learn more about how loss affects children and those around them and has enhanced my listening skills even further.

I have not had bereavement support myself from Child Bereavement UK, but I experienced baby and parental loss many years ago and this still lives with me today. I feel any loss in a family is devastating and, if I can help in any way I will. I feel this is where I am supposed to be.

As volunteers, I feel we enhance the role of staff and, if I can step up and do more, I will. Families have commented that volunteering is a wonderful thing to do; I hope that I make an impact by supporting the adults with a listening ear, a smile or a hug.

If you are interested in supporting families through bereavement and loss, then Child Bereavement UK is the charity for you. You’ll gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction and feel that you are making a difference, however small.

If you have been inspired to volunteer with us, please visit our volunteer jobs board, or contact our volunteering team on [email protected]