Islington Bereavement Service

Bereavement Peer Support Role Description

 Volunteer Tasks description: 

Bereavement peer support volunteer 


Home visiting or meeting in a community venue in the borough of Islington


The purpose of the Islington Bereavement Service is to offer emotional, social and practical support to bereaved adults in Islington.


Your role is to provide support to bereaved people living within the London Borough of Islington who are eligible to access support through this Bereavement Peer Support Service. This work includes supporting relatives, carers and friends of people who have died and who are residents of the Borough of Islington.

You will be expected to:

  • Visit a bereaved community member once a week for at least one hour for 10 weeks and allow the community member to talk whilst you ‘listen actively’.
  • Develop a trusting relationship to support and, where appropriate, enable the community member to pursue social activities and life skills.
  • Engage in friendly conversation. It is important not to impose your opinions and beliefs on the community member.
  • Signpost to other organisations
  • Provide practical support if appropriate.
  • If required, purchase one or two small items from a local shop on behalf of the Community member using their money and providing a receipt.
  • Be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Inform the Community Development Manager of any concerns that arise.
  • Be punctual: if you are unable to keep an appointment, you should inform the community member or Community Development Manager in good time (48 hours in advance when possible).
  • Inform the Community Development Manager of any unattended appointments
  • Inform the Community Development Manager of any change to the length, frequency or nature of visits.
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times.

The Bereavement Service asks for a minimum commitment of six months post induction training; and you will be put on a three months probationary period.

You will be required to sign a volunteer agreement when joining the service as a bereavement support volunteer.


  • You will need to attend three days of training in bereavement support, self-awareness and listening skills to ensure you feel confident and safe when offering bereavement support.
  • You will need to attend St Joseph’s induction and relevant mandatory training.
  • The minimum commitment is for six months after the initial training.
  • Once matched, you will be expected to visit a bereaved community member once a week for 10 weeks for approximately one hour.
  • You will be expected to commit to 6-8 hours a month including travelling time.
  • Regular attendance at monthly Share and Reflect with other matched volunteers is important to ensure effective and safe working with community members.
  • You will be expected to maintain confidentiality at all times 

Our responsibilities to you:

  • To train you to ensure that you have the relevant skills and knowledge to undertake this role safely.
  • To value your enthusiasm, willingness, expertise and potential.
  • To support you with on-going Share and Reflect supervision and support.
  • To offer you on-going training for continued professional development as necessary.
  • To ensure you have a safe and appropriate working environment.
  • To ensure your professional relationship remains safe, appropriate and ethical.
  • To pass on to you relevant communication from community members quickly.
  • To provide you with adequate professional indemnity insurance.
  • To reimburse you for travel and telephone expenses incurred in relation to your role as a volunteer.
  • To respect your needs and limitations.

Your responsibilities to us:

  • To ensure bereavement support is responsive to the needs of the bereaved person.
  • A commitment to your own on-going development as a bereavement support volunteer.
  • To attend Share and reflect peer group supervision once a month.
  • To respect and abide by confidentiality in relation to your volunteer bereavement work.
  • To make regular notes and records of the activities you undertake with community members.
  • To take sabbatical leave from working as bereavement volunteer should you experience a significant personal loss.
  • To contribute to any evaluation and audit that may from time to time be to help improve the service offered.
  • To disclose to the Community Development Manager details of any gift made to you by a community member or to direct a community member requesting to make  a donation to St Joseph’s Hospice.
  • To take responsibility to request additional support as and when needed when dealing with community members with complex needs.
  • To abide by the volunteers code of practice of St Joseph’s Hospice.