Could you help bereaved families at the Coroner’s Court?
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Northampton’s Coroner’s Court is looking for volunteers to help bereaved families get through one of the most difficult days in their lives.
Every week, inquests are held at the Coroner’s Court in Northampton. Inquests are official inquiries into violent or unnatural deaths where the cause is unknown and can be distressing and hard for families and witnesses to sit through.
The Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS) is an independent voluntary organisation whose trained volunteers offer vital emotional support and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and others attending an inquest.
The service was founded in 2002 by Roey Burden who attended the inquest of a family member and was shocked to see the lack of support offered to families throughout the day.
From two volunteers in one Court, the service now has over 400 volunteers in 71 Courts across the country and the Coroner’s Court in Northampton is currently recruiting for volunteers.
The CCSS is looking for volunteers who think they’ve got what it takes to provide families with the vital support they need during some of the most difficult days in their lives – meeting and greeting those attending inquests, explaining the procedure to them, showing them the Court and the facilities and answering any questions they may have.
Once the inquest is due to start volunteers will also take family members into court and sit nearby in case they become distressed and wish to go out.
Roey Burden OBE, Founder of the CCSS, said: “Being a volunteer for the CCSS is a very fulfilling role because you are making a really difficult day a little bit easier for the family and friends of the person whose inquest it is, and also supporting witnesses who may be traumatised by the experience.”
"Volunteers must be available weekdays (usually Wednesdays and Thursdays), for a minimum of two days a month, to attend the court at County Hall in George Row, Northampton. There will also be a three-day training course to attend.