Background Islington Bereavement Service started providing emotional, social and practical support to bereaved individuals living in Islington in July 2015. Based on the Compassionate Communities approach, the service is designed to empower community members to address their bereavement needs. In doing so, new peer support networks are formed which increases resilience to bereavement within the community.
Aim A service evaluation is being performed on the bereavement service. The main aim of the evaluation is to explore how the service impacts community members and volunteers.
Method Islington Bereavement Service trains bereavement support volunteers to deliver peer-support sessions to community members. In order to assess the impact of the peer-support sessions on community members’ wellbeing, attitude to grief and loneliness; questionnaires are being administered to community members before and after receiving peer-support sessions. The questionnaire consists of: the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, the Adult Attitude to Grief Scale, the UCLA Three-item Loneliness Scale and cost-effectiveness questions. Community members’ satisfaction with the service will also be assessed. The projected sample size is 10 to 15 community members.
Two focus groups are being held with four to six volunteers in each group. The focus groups will explore volunteers’ experience of volunteering within the service, their motivation to volunteer and what they have gained from volunteering.
Time frame The evaluation will be completed on 31 August 2016.
Results Wilcoxon signed-rank test will be used to detect significant changes in community member outcomes from before to after receiving support. Recorded data from the focus groups will be transcribed and undergo inductive thematic analysis to detect emerging themes.
Conclusion Implications of predicted results may include: improvement in the quality of support provided, evidence for future funding, evidence for peer-to-peer bereavement support in the community and evidence of the benefits of volunteering.
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