East Lancashire Hospice

Family Support Service - Volunteer Counsellor

Role                                          Family Support Service Volunteer Counsellor

Location                                 East Lancashire Hospice and Community as required

Responsible to                   Family Support Service Team / Head of Support and Wellbeing                                                      

Role requirements         Two satisfactory references

                                                 Enhanced DBS check

                                                 Occupational Health check

Role Summary

To be a volunteer member of the hospice Family Support Services Team which provides Counselling and Bereavement services for people who have been either diagnosed, or care for those diagnosed with a life limiting illness or who have been bereaved. 

When we need you to be available

The expected regular commitment would be a minimum of one client at any one point in time. (This is negotiable dependent on availability)

Attendance at quarterly group supervision meetings, 2.5 hours in duration, would be required, plus any additional supervision as deemed necessary.

What we would like you to do

  • Work with individuals, couples, families and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and emotional issues.
  • Develop strong therapeutic relationships with clients and demonstrate unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding and congruence in keeping with person centered principles.
  • Utilise a range of therapeutic approaches and non-medical treatments in order to meet individual need and address the clients thought processes, feelings and behaviour whilst enabling understanding of inner conflict and their ability to find new ways to alleviate and deal with distress (including for example counselling,  mindfulness, hypnotherapy, brief-solution focused therapy).
  • Be sensitive to a client’s vulnerability and their potential to become distressed and/or disclose detailed personal information; to act appropriately in such circumstances following BACP ethical principles, ELH policies and procedures
  • Provide timely feedback to, and seek guidance from, a member of the Family Support Team/line management where individual client circumstances makes this appropriate.
  • Maintain a high quality service that is respectful to clients and protects their dignity. 
  • Manage your time to ensure availability to prepare the environment for the session; complete all paperwork and undertake a debrief session with a member of the Family Support Team when appropriate.
  • Comply with current ELH policies and procedures applicable to the role ensuring all Health and Safety rules are adhered to at all times. Work within East Lancashire Hospice guidelines around confi­den­ti­ality.
  • Maintain own arrangements for external supervision in keeping with BACP requirements.
  • Seek support and receive direction/ constructive feedback from the Family Support Team on clinical and/or operational matters as necessary.
  • Maintain records and ensure all record keeping in accordance with East Lancashire Hospice patient records and Information Management Policy.

What we will do

  • Support delivery of the role with additional training/­support where required.

  • Provide a named mentor and internal supervisor from the family support team who will facilitate the quarterly group supervision meetings and any additional support as required.
  • Reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred when carrying out the role.
  • Implement good Health and Safety practice.

Skills, knowledge, abilities and qualities

  • Recognised Counselling Qualification: minimum of Level 4 or equivalent.
  • Current BACP Registration with a minimum of 450 hours post qualification experience.
  • Experience of assessing and working with clients with a wide range of emotional and psychological needs including life limiting illness/­significant life events.
  • Knowledge of a range of therapeutic disciplines with the ability to apply these effectively to practice situations.
  • Active listening skills,­demonstrating a sincere interest in what is being said, avoiding interruption, speaking over others or sharing own personal experiences and opinions.
  • Ability to effectively interact as part of a team.
  • Smart, courteous and approachable demeanor at all times.
  • Ability to demonstrate an empathic and a non-judgmental attitude 

    Review of this description

    This role description is intended as an outline of general areas of activities and will be amended in light of changing needs of the Hospice.  It is expected that the volunteer will be positive and as flexible as possible using this document as a framework.