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Call for volunteers for first of its kind bereavement service at Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The information and bereavement support service in Glasgow Royal Infirmary is looking for part-time volunteers.

The service, funded by Macmillan, provides information and support for people living with cancer and long term conditions with a particular focus on end-of-life care, pre-bereavement support and support around the time of, and just after, death.

This is just one example of a range of bereavement care provided across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Volunteers can expect to help support people affected by cancer, long-term conditions and bereavement through bespoke support. The service in partnership with Glasgow Life is recruiting new volunteers.

The Macmillan Information and NHS Bereavement Support Service has helped its contacts 2,500 times since its inception in October 2018. This has included patients, friends, carers and staff members.

Jim Mackenzie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and treated at the GRI. He praised the help of Anne and the team who assisted him and his wife during a difficult time.

Jim said: “I was self-employed at the time of my cancer diagnosis so there weren’t a lot of plans in place to deal with a situation like that. Anne and the team provided not only practical but emotional support to help us find a way forward. They were able to put my mind at rest about our finances so I could focus on getting better.

“I can’t say enough good things about the service. They made an incredible difference in my life and the life of my family.”

The service  offers a  wide range of support end of life care, what to do when someone dies, registering a death, benefits advice, funeral poverty, language support, repatriation, carers’ support and a listening ear. This includes referral on for specialist counselling services.

Staff at Glasgow Royal Infirmary are able to refer patients and families to the bereavement service as a single point of contact instead of pointing them towards multiple organisations. The service also has direct referral routes for patients needing further care.

Anne Todd, Service Lead of the Macmillan Information and NHS Bereavement Support Service, said: “When we first started my colleague Lorraine Sommerville and I thought that the service would focus on and around the end of life especially what to do when someone dies, funerals and support for bereaved families. But it’s become much more than that as we’ve taken on feedback from patients and staff.

“We provide individuals with practical advice and we pride ourselves on being a holistic, person-centred service. We’re helping people with often complicated and emotional situations. The service is for patients, carers, families and staff. We want to offer the right support at the right time.”

To find out more information about the volunteering opportunity, find it here.

Craig Menzies, Macmillan Programme Manager for Glasgow Life, added:

“We are really excited about this new partnership, and would like to encourage anyone with an interest in this innovative volunteer role to get in touch. We believe we have a really interesting role, with all volunteers receiving excellent training and support, along with the opportunity to meet new people”.


For further information either telephone 0141 201 4467 or email [email protected]

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021