A charity based near Lichfield is preparing to launch a new accredited training course to equip volunteers with the skills to help families cope with the loss of a loved one.

St Giles Hospice has teamed up with Staffordshire University to deliver the scheme, which is the first of its kind in the Midlands and only the second across the whole of the UK.

Beginning in November, the 10-week course will provide volunteers with a recognised qualification in bereavement support – and will be open to anyone, whether or not they are connected to St Giles.

Nikki Archer

Nikki Archer, supportive care manager for the Whittington-based hospice, said:

“Our volunteers already receive high-quality training enabling them to help families who have lost a loved one, but this new accredited course will take our bereavement training to a whole new level. Programme graduates will receive a recognised qualification from Staffordshire University, as well as the knowledge and skills required to provide valuable support for people who are coping with loss.

“And because the course is open to the whole community, anyone can benefit from St Giles bereavement support expertise whether or not they are interested in volunteering for the hospice.”

Participation in the 10-week accredited course costs £300 per person, with St Giles reimbursing half the programme fee to volunteers who complete 30 hours of bereavement support for the hospice.

Alternatively, volunteers who wish to receive bereavement support training without the accredited qualification can do so for a fee £150.

The first course is scheduled to begin in November and anyone interested in finding out more can attend an information day taking place at St Giles Hospice in Lindridge Road, Sutton Coldfield, on September 24 from 12.30pm until 4.30pm.

For further information about the training, or to find out more about becoming a volunteer within St Giles’ bereavement support service, call 01543 434536. To book a place on the course, contact the Education Team on 01543 434533.

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