A listening ear

“My name is Nicola Clark and I began volunteering at Teesside Hospice as a student counsellor 4 years ago. My previous college tutor had been a volunteer Bereavement Counsellor here himself and was full of praise for the work, the clients and the wonderful staff and volunteers who worked here. I was so struck by his enthusiasm I decided to apply for a student placement whilst I was studying for my degree in counselling so that I could experience this for myself. I have to say, in all honesty, my experience here has far surpassed any expectations I might have had. So much so in fact, that I stayed on long after my student placement ended.

Teesside Hospice is the most warm, friendly and welcoming environment to work in. As a Bereavement Counsellor I have the honour and privilege of working with clients at an emotionally vulnerable and incredibly difficult time. They may be struggling to cope with their grief at the loss of a loved one, anticipating the loss of a loved one who is terminally ill, or facing terminal illness themselves. To be able to offer a safe and confidential space for people to explore and express their painful feelings and difficult emotions, to listen and understand, to walk alongside someone as they navigate their way through the grieving process, is the most life-affirming and rewarding experience, and one I shall be forever grateful for.

More recently, I have been very fortunate to make the transition from Volunteer Counsellor to a staff member of the core Counselling Team. I cannot describe how excited and thrilled I am to have been offered this post. I am delighted to be able to devote my time to doing a job I love and to be paid for it too! I feel my time here as a volunteer, and my love and enthusiasm for the work the Counselling Team and the hospice does, was definitely a contributory factor in my success.”

– Nicola Clark, Volunteer Counsellor

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