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Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen if I call 0845 600 2227?
A trained member of our helpline team will ask you for some brief details about yourself and your situation. There may be times when there’s no one available to take your call, in which case you’ll need to leave your contact details on our answerphone – please don’t be put off by this. Just be prepared to leave a brief message, remembering to give your name and telephone number. We know that some people have difficulty using an answerphone, but please try and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Who will support me?
CBCS volunteers are people who have undergone special training about the process of grieving and how to work with bereaved people. Some of our volunteers have undergone more specialised training so they can work with children or those who have been bereaved through suicide. All volunteers listen carefully and respond sensitively to enable you to work through the grief. They know that the best solutions are the ones you discover for yourself. Our volunteers are all different ages and from different walks of life and many of them will have experienced close bereavements themselves. They are not just trained once and left to it; they receive ongoing training and support throughout their time as a volunteer.

What would I expect from my bereavement support volunteer?
Please be assured that your volunteer will keep everything confidential. They will keep appointments and see you regularly. They won’t be able to take the pain of your bereavement away, they will support you while you work through it at your own pace. You can expect your volunteer to be warm and welcoming and they will respect you as an individual for whom bereavement support is a temporary, though valuable, step in working through your grief and coming to terms with your loss.  The service is confidential within CBCS's practice and policy guidelines and the robust requirements of COSCA (Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland).
  
What commitment would be expected from me?
There is a big demand for the CBCS bereavement support service, so the only thing we ask is that once accepted you keep your appointments (apart from in emergencies), or cancel in good time, so we can make the best use of our limited supply of volunteers.
  
Where does counselling take place?
One-to-one support with one of our carefully selected and trained volunteers takes place either at your local  CBCS premises or at another agreed venue.  A session normally lasts for about one hour.  You will be offered an initial appointment of 45 minutes - this will be offered to you as quickly as possible. This time is used to assess whether or not CBCS is the best organisation to help you. If it is,  you will be placed on a waiting list until a bereavement support volunteer is available. If we feel CBCS is not likely to be the best organisation to help you, we will suggest other options.
  
How much does it cost?
All CBCS counselling and listening services are free. The counsellors and other volunteers all provide their services free of charge. We do give all adults who use our service an opportunity to make donations that are put towards the maintenance of the local teams. Each Area of CBCS relies on fundraising and donations from clients and friends to provide the local service.
  
Is it really confidential?
All our volunteers work to a strict code of ethics, which binds them to hold everything you say in confidence, unless they feel there is a risk to your life or the lives of others. You should know that our counsellors are all supervised - they may talk to their supervisor about your experience, but they will never share information which may identify you.
  
If you think CBCS could help you, what to do next:
Please ring our National Helpline  - 0845 600 2227.  Our volunteer will be able to help you and arrange for the local team to send you their information.

When we contact you, our team will ask you a few questions about your needs and you will be able to ask any further questions you may have about bereavement support and your local team. If you decide you would like to see a volunteer you will be offered an initial interview and then, if mutually agreed, you will be contacted as soon as an appointment becomes available.

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