I would describe myself as a ‘people person’ and after retirement was looking for some volunteer work. There are so many volunteers needed out there but I decided to take time to find the right role for me. I was on the verge of contacting the National Trust when I read an article in our local paper about a new CCSS team being set up at Leicester. I realised that by giving my time to the CCSS I’d have far more impact on people’s lives than being a room steward in a historical house. The family and witnesses attending a Coroner’s court are going through a very emotional time. To be able to offer friendly support, practical help and a listening ear on one of the most difficult days of their lives is a privilege. Friends ask me why I volunteer given that I care for my mum who has Alzheimer’s and for my grandson two mornings a week. The simple answer is that to everyone I meet at court I am Rosie, court volunteer, not Wendy’s daughter or Harry’s Granny and that’s a good feeling.
After eighteen months as a volunteer I can honestly say my experience has been very positive. I’d never attended an inquest before so started off by observing in the Coroner’s court. This was followed by three days of excellent training with other volunteers. The training was informative and gave us the confidence we needed to do our role. I’m part of a team which I like and there’s plenty of support for me as a volunteer. If I have a problem or need information I can ask the Coroner’s officer or I can contact Sam, our area Coordinator. The team meets with Sam over coffee every couple of months to share information and solve any difficulties. I volunteer two days a month and these are days that I’ve chosen so they fit in with everything else I’m doing