Volunteer case worker

As a pandemic response, Sudden, the charity service for people bereaved in Sudden ways, is offering people who are suddenly bereaved (including by COVID-19), and who have vulnerabilities and acute needs, a case worker for ten hours of phone-based care spread over the first ten weeks of someone’s bereavement, to protect wellbeing at a critical time of shock and loss.

Who we help

We are particularly, at this time, helping people who have a range of complexities in their lives compounding their shock and loss; such as mental or physical illness, lack of income, social barriers such as language, issues relating to children, youth or older people, or multiple bereavements at once.

More about how we help

Our volunteer case workers help vulnerable bereaved people to identify their emotional, practical and specialist needs and agree outcome goals. Our case workers provide emotional support and research, and work with, community agencies to advocate for their clients and get help they need. About half case workers’ time is spent talking to their clients, and the other half getting things done for them. Case workers are supported by a professional management team, providing training, procedures, and operational and clinical supervision.

Our impact

Case workers enable clients to feel safe, supported, connected and stable. The goal is to enable clients to have a significantly lower chance of developing conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a lower chance of facing isolation and social disadvantage.

More about us

Sudden, at www.sudden.org, is a clinically-directed, charitable service that is born out of the Sudden project, which provides and disseminates professional development tools and standards relating to care of people bereaved suddenly. Sudden is hosted by Brake, the road safety charity registered 1093244, which operates the UK’s National Road Victim Service (NRVS). The NRVS is an acclaimed and government funded service for people bereaved suddenly in road crashes and is offered through all police forces to everyone bereaved on roads. It operates in the same way as the Sudden service, through case managed support helping people bereaved in road crashes with their emotions and practical and procedural challenges. The NRVS came second in the 2019 Helpline Partnership awards.

About you

This is a vital but challenging role, only for professionals.

Sudden is seeking people with a background in providing emotional support and practical research and advocacy for vulnerable people in the early days after a serious psychological trauma such as the death of a loved one in violent circumstance.

This is a demanding, frontline and voluntary support and liaison role, only appropriate for those with:

  • extensive experience of frontline care for people in crisis with acute vulnerabilities and risks;
  • research and advocacy skills – you get crucial things done through liaison with external agencies; and
  • significant resilience, and willingness to be professionally developed and clinically supervised.

We are interested in receiving applications, not to the exclusion of others, from people with a track record and solid references relating to backgrounds working with people who have suffered sudden bereavement or violence (terror attacks, military deaths, homicide, etc.) or working with people with heightened vulnerabilities (criminal backgrounds, addiction, mental or physical illness).

This is not a counselling role, and people with counselling backgrounds alone should not apply. While counselling skills may help provision of emotional support, must involve you providing crisis intervention in the early days following a traumatic event.

Time commitment

You will work one day a week on a voluntary basis for a minimum of 40 weeks plus training, handling up to 5 cases at any time (each case lasts for 10 weeks at maximum) and up to 20 cases in total over the 40 week time frame.

There is an expectation that you will be available to commit to a 2-week training programme with on-going professional self-directed learning.

Our commitment

You will be working for an acclaimed and professionally-run charity that is clinically directed. The role requires you to pass an intensive training programme and be supported with clinical supervision.

Job description


To provide frontline case worker support for up to ten weeks to people bereaved in sudden ways including COVID-19 with vulnerabilities and acute needs, to meet those needs and enable recovery free of mental illness, financial hardship, isolation, or other poor outcomes.


  • Commit to training plus a minimum of 40 weeks of volunteering of 7 hours a week.
  • Support a case load of 5 cases at any one time, providing each case with about one hour’s care per week.
  • Participate additionally in up to 2 hours of training, supervisory and development sessions per week, contributing to the professional development of yourself and the service through heuristic learnings

This is a demanding role that requires resilience. We recognise that many people have challenges at this time so please do consider this when applying.

How to apply

Please register your interest in this volunteering role, by sending a CV and covering letter explaining why this role is for you and your motivation for applying to tlister@brake.org.uk.