A new service is being established locally to offer support for bereaved relatives and witnesses when they attend Plymouth inquests.
Launched in 2003, the Coroners’ Court Support Service (CCSS) charity provides assistances in courts across the country and is now being set up in Plymouth, individuals can register to become a volunteer.
The volunteers use listening skills, demonstrate empathy and show a non-judgmental and non-prejudicial attitude to support those attending. They build rapport and trust to enable those attending to identify and talk about their needs in order for them to fully understand and participate in the proceedings.
Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “It is great news to hear that this service will now be offered in Plymouth. The volunteers will offer invaluable support to all those who attend inquest hearings, including bereaved family and friends.
“This will help so many bereaved individuals who will be looking for the extra support, whatever situation they are in as the volunteers will provide guidance and help to those who need it following the loss of their loved one.”
Plymouth’s Senior Coroner, Ian Arrow, said: “Each person is affected by bereavement in their own individual way and, as a volunteer, you really have to quickly assess what their needs are and respond to them.
“To be able to offer this service to the local people of Plymouth will be very helpful to those that are looking for someone who has the professional experience of being empathic and supportive.
"The volunteers are there to help during the inquest itself and will have had experience in supporting bereaved families, witnesses and others.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can request an application pack by emailing email@example.com or calling 07534 149 962.
Applications are now open and interviews will be held in September and October. Three consecutive days of training will be confirmed in November/December 2022.
Visit www.coronerscourtssupportservice.org.uk for further information.