Bereavement Support Volunteer – St Columba’s Hospice Palliative Care, Edinburgh

Bereavement Support Volunteer


Volunteer role


Role description

This purpose of this role is to provide listening support and bereavement-related information to the family members of patients, and to assist with the facilitation of bereavement support groups, as part of the holistic care offered by St Columba’s Hospice.

Hospice staff and volunteers are expected to reflect our Hospice Values in the way they carry out their roles, and in their interactions with each other and with patients, family members and any other visitors.

Our Values are: Care and Compassion, Respect, Trust and Partnership.

What will I be doing/ involved in?

  • Provide supportive listening and information to the family members and loved ones of people accessing palliative care, pre- and post-bereavement
  • Co-facilitate support groups for bereaved relatives, working alongside an experienced co-facilitator
  • Attend regular and ongoing supervision and CPD opportunities
  • Maintain accurate and appropriate records, in line with organisational policies and procedures

What experience or skills do I need?

  • Proven empathic listening skills
  • Advanced communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work as part of the Bereavement Support Team – without close supervision, but within Hospice processes
  • A strong understanding of the need for and importance of patient and client confidentiality and boundaries, at all times
  • Confidence and sensitivity when responding to distressed and anxious patients or relatives
  • Willingness to work as part of the wider Hospice team, and with staff and volunteers as required
  • Willingness to attend individual and group supervision, induction training, and continuing professional development
  • Experience of working with bereaved people is helpful but not essential
  • Willingness to follow Infection Control guidelines

Time commitment and duration

Approximately ½ day a week, morning or afternoon, as agreed, plus attendance at monthly in-house supervision (one hour duration) The role will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

Where will I be based?

St. Columba’s Hospice, 15 Boswall Road, Edinburgh EH5 3RW

Who will be supporting me?

Counselling and Bereavement Support Manager; Hospice Counsellors, Supportive Care team, Volunteer Services Manager, Volunteer Services team, other Hospice staff as needed

Recruitment checks

  • Interview with Volunteer Services Manager and Member of Bereavement Support Team
  • Application Form
  • Two references
  • PVG – Vulnerable adults


  • Hospice orientation
  • Hospice Volunteer Induction
  • Counselling and Bereavement Support Induction Programme
  • Mentoring programme for group facilitation

We will provide ongoing supervision and continuing professional development opportunities

Additional information

  • Hospice Chaplains are always available to support volunteers 
  • Volunteers may claim reasonable travelling expenses for transport to and from the Hospice, or the place you volunteer, e.g. one of our retail shops. Please speak to your manager about this.
  • The Hospice provides complimentary tea and coffee to all volunteers, staff, patients and families as part of the hospitality strategy.
  • The Hospice provides complimentary tea and coffee to all volunteers, staff, patients and families as part of the hospitality strategy.

You can apply online here.

Alternatively, please email us at to request a paper application form, or to ask us any questions about the role

Download a role description


Find out more

Go to our Volunteer page to find out more about volunteering at the Hospice.