Peer Support Group Facilitator - Volunteer Information

Bereaved Families of Ontario Southwest Region (BFO-SW) is a non-profit, mutual aid organization. We provide a safe place where members can talk about their loss, share their story, and express their grief. Our Peer Support Group Facilitators lead peer support groups for individuals who have experienced a loss through the death of a loved one; leading peer-to-peer support delivery with compassion and understanding in a non-judgmental environment. You will bring the invaluable asset of personal lived experience, offering a unique connection to those in need. Your responsibilities include creating an environment where participants can openly share their emotions, fostering a sense of community and mutual understanding.

Our volunteers are the heart of our organization. They play a crucial role in creating a supportive and understanding community for individuals coping with loss. By joining our team, you will directly contribute to providing comfort and solace to those navigating the difficult journey of grief.

Key Responsibilities

  • Facilitate Peer Support Group Sessions: Lead group discussions and activities with sensitivity and compassion, guiding participants through the grieving process while fostering a sense of connection and mutual support.

    Provide Emotional Support: Offer empathetic listening and validation to group members, acknowledging their feelings and experiences without judgment and offering comfort and encouragement as needed.

    Encourage Peer Connections: Facilitate opportunities for members to connect with and support each other, fostering a sense of camaraderie and understanding within the group.

    Offer Resources and Information: Share relevant resources, tools, and coping strategies to help members navigate their grief journey, empowering them to find healing and resilience.

    Maintain Confidentiality: Respect the privacy and confidentiality of group members by upholding strict confidentiality standards and ensuring a safe and trusting environment for sharing.

    Promote Self-Care: Encourage self-care practices and healthy coping mechanisms among group members, emphasizing the importance of self-compassion and personal well-being.

Qualifications and Requirements

• Facilitators must be 18 years of age or older;
• Having lived experience with death-related loss and being on a journey of healing is required to provide peer support to participants;
• A minimum 6-month commitment is preferred; minimum 2 hours per month;
• A background in Social Work, Counselling, Psychology, Thanatology, Community Mental Health, or related disciplines is preferred but not required;
• Access to a computer device in a private, quiet room with internet (for virtual sessions) is required; ability to travel within the London area for in-person sessions is required; access to a personal phone for one-to-one support is required.
• Ability to demonstrate compassion, inclusivity, authenticity, adaptability, non-judgment, resiliency, effective communication, and self-management;
• A Vulnerable Sector Police Check will be required prior to volunteering (no older than 1 year);
• Applicants must commit to an online volunteer training if selected as a successful applicant;
• Experience with art or music therapy, yoga instruction, mindfulness, or other related self-care/healthcare modalities; any additional mental health support training such as Safe Talk, ASSIST, Mental Health First Aid would be highly beneficial.

How to Apply

Please email our Program Coordinator, Elizabeth at [email protected] to receive a Volunteer Application Form. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

At BFO-SW, we welcome diverse talents. If you require accommodations for accessibility, please let us know. We’re dedicated to ensuring a welcoming and inclusive experience for all prospective volunteers.