Volunteer Role Description for

Bereavement and Loss Group Facilitator

Role Summary

The Dorothy Parkes Centre, in partnership with Smethwick Old Church, aims to deliver a group to offer a safe place where individuals who have experienced loss and grief can express these feelings and begin the healing process.  

Main Activities/Tasks

  • After the initial training, the facilitator will be asked to screen potential participants by assisting in the completion of a questionnaire. This will give the facilitator an insight into whether this is a suitable course for the participant.
  • The role of the facilitator is to be the provider of a safe place for the grief work to occur.
  • The facilitator must familiarise themselves with the content of the course of that week and be available for half an hour meeting pre and post course delivery.
  • A facilitator starts and ends the group, provides a copy of the handbook and must be willing to play an active part in the delivery of the sessions.
  • A Facilitator give members permission to not share before they are ready. These structural components are an important part of the members feeling safe.
  • It is based on the premise that each person has an innate understanding of the work he or she needs to do. Group members will not become expert on their grief, but instead become community assets, having a deeper understanding of how the grief impacts not only on individuals and their relationships but also the wider community.
  • The facilitator’s role is to establish some of ground rules of the group which include, confidentiality, the right to be heard and safeguard the participants whilst in the group.

The purpose of the group is to offer a safe place where participants can express their grief and begin the healing process. Participants will then be able to do the work of mourning so they can begin to find meaning in life. The grief and educational support will offer coping tools and hope to begin the difficult process of re-establishing their life without their loved ones.

Relevant experience/skills

  • Understanding of issues of confidentiality
  • Listening, communication, interpersonal, motivating, networking skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Experience of giving advice and guidance (and knowing when not to)
  • Self-awareness and recognition in recognising your potential and support required.
  • Passionate about working with people in the local community
  • Reliable, consistent, dependable, approachable, and flexible
  • Capacity for empathy
  • Ability to take non-directive or non-judgemental approach
  • Awareness of principles of equal opportunity.

Training and support 

The Dorothy Parkes Centre, in partnership with Smethwick Old Church, will provide the necessary training and support to equip facilitators with the knowledge and understanding they will need to take on the role successfully. The volunteers will be expected to complete a six-hour training course over a period of three consecutive weeks before delivering the programme. The course will include the facilitation training, listening techniques, boundaries, information on bereavement and loss, as well as safeguarding procedures. All volunteers will be asked to complete mandatory training.

The Community Navigator will give volunteers any specific information they need about the role prior to starting. Volunteers will have supervisions with the lead facilitator to allow them to give and receive feedback about their role. They are also encouraged to bring up any concerns or questions as soon as they arise and make an input into the overall development of our project.


Volunteer facilitators will be expected to commit for the duration of the eight-week programme. Each session will be 1.5 hours with a half hour set up and half hour debrief at the end of each session. There will be an opportunity to deliver the programme to a variety of groups on a regular basis as and when required.

Additional information

A DBS check will be required

Main point of contact/supervisor 

Community Navigator – Fionnuala O’Brien [email protected]

Please complete an enquiry form if you are interested in volunteering for this position.