Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide: Peer Support Facilitators

Have you been Bereaved by Suicide?  Do you have a desire to help other people who have also been Bereaved by Suicide?  Are you comfortable listening to the experiences of others? You could be just the person we are looking for.

We have self-help support groups across the UK, where you can meet with other people who have been bereaved by suicide and we want to enroll some new volunteers to set up a group in Aberdeen.  Typically, our groups meet once a month and last for around 2 hours.  Presently many groups are meeting virtually via Zoom but when regulations allow, they will return to Face to Face.  They provide an opportunity to listen, to share, to ask questions and to connect with others.

Each local SoBS group is run by a team of 3: the group leader and two group volunteers, all of whom have been bereaved by suicide themselves.  Between them, they facilitate the session, get the conversation started, make sure everyone has the opportunity to talk if they want to, and generally look out for people and each other.   The team also work together to manage the administration, fundraising and communication for the group, sometimes with the help of additional support volunteers.

There is no set structure to a session – people are free to talk and listen as they wish.  The topics discussed vary from week to week but often includes people sharing their story, how they are feeling, what has happened since their last group visit, questions about coroners and discussions about common challenges such as flashbacks, supporting children or facing neighbours. Many groups also offer a small resource library and can share information about local sources of support.

Excellent support and training is provided to all volunteers. Once approved the volunteer will complete our online induction training introducing them to the charity, health and safety, social media etc and once this is completed they will be offered dates for training specific to the role they are taking up. Training is presently conducted via zoom but will return to face to face once regulations allow.

For further details please contact Phill Abbiss, Volunteer Coordinator (North) at E Mail: phill.abbiss@uksobs.org or tel.: 07535 854 860.