They work in the community to build relationships with their local hospital and lovingly prepare our bears and deliver them to maternity units across the UK. We literally couldn’t do it without them.
As Aching Arms is run by a small team of staff, we are always grateful for volunteer support. Not only does this help our charity, but our volunteers also get an awful lot out of helping us in this way.
‘My role is to prepare each bear in memory of a child and package them for another family who need the comfort these bears provide. I prepare each bear lovingly as each one is special, with the name of a baby who is dearly loved and very much missed. I enjoy volunteering for Aching Arms as it gives me the time to reflect on our journey and I know that my role makes other bereaved parents feel less alone. I feel proud to call myself an Aching Arms volunteer.’
Being an Aching Arms volunteer helps me to reach out to those travelling a journey they don’t want to be on. It brings me comfort to help others when they feel so alone. It also helps me to continue to talk about my own daughter Angel, who we didn’t get to keep.
Some of the roles our volunteers take on:
Local Hospital Volunteer
This role is the first point of contact with our hospitals. A volunteer makes contact on our behalf, explains the charity aims and how each bear brings comfort. Once a hospital agrees to work with us, the volunteer will lovingly prepare bundles of bears as they are needed. This involves handwriting the dedication names, attaching the labels, giving the bears a hug and hand delivering them to the lead nurse or midwife at their local hospital. As their confidence grows, many Local Hospital Volunteers go on to work further with us by providing training at their hospital and they also represent the charity at a range of local events.
'Being an Aching Arms volunteer is so rewarding. I lost a lot of self-confidence after our little boy Cormac was born and it has been rebuilt slowly through my volunteer work.'
Our Postal Volunteers carefully prepare and post a number of bears each week to bereaved parents who directly request them via our website, social media platforms or through our Supporting Arms service. Unlike the Local Hospital Volunteer role, being a postal volunteer requires a volunteer to commit to devoting time every week to helping the charity.
Training Volunteers often have experience of public speaking or teaching and they use these skills to lead awareness training sessions. We offer bereavement training for health professionals and workplace bereavement training for businesses. Each volunteer is given training and support so they feel able to confidently lead a session on behalf of the charity.
Fundraising Events Team
Charity representatives on our Fundraising Events Team share their energy and enthusiasm by going to events in their local area to cheer on and support Aching Arms fundraisers. This can be at challenge events such as Tough Mudder fun runs, marathons or cycling events. It’s a great way to meet other Aching Arms supporters and our fundraisers certainly appreciate the support and encouragement to spur them on and cross the finish line.
Our Ambassadors are volunteers who feel confident to speak about the charity at business networking events, local community groups, schools or other local organisations. Each Ambassador attends an induction session and is provided with all the latest information about the charity. The purpose of this role is to raise awareness of the charity and its aims and to canvas support with fundraising and donations.
If you have any skills that you think could benefit the charity or any part of its organisation, please don’t hesitate to fill in our
Expression of Interest form and let us know exactly how you might like to get involved.
Volunteer Training and Support
Full training is provided for our volunteers here at Aching Arms. We have a dedicated volunteer manager who can offer one to one support, guidance and training when needed, as well as a volunteer administrator who can assist with any queries or questions. We also offer training via our online modular volunteer training course, which is designed to better inform and equip volunteers with all the tools and knowledge needed to confidently perform their role within the charity, as well as to support them all better.
Volunteers Week 2023
Volunteers Week ran from 1st - 7th June and we celebrated the incredible work of all our wonderful volunteers who work so hard behind the scenes to bring comfort and support to bereaved families that go through pregnancy and baby loss. Read about our celebration of their work here.
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