There were also ‘political’ issues to be managed to bring a range of interests into a common endeavour. Our group contained or worked with organisations for those coming to terms with the death of a child, for people suffering as a result of a violent death of a loved one, and with the mainstream national organisation, CRUSE. It was necessary for us to put these special interests into a common effort if the group was to be financially sustainable, whilst retaining a respect for the separate identities of the different groups.
We have tried to include some of what I am terming ‘political’ issues in the training and educational activities in the project. This part of the work not only enabled us to try and establish the right relationship between volunteers and professional skills in both the style and the content of the training (maximum use of workshop learning and minimal teaching of theory for example), but wider training with professional groups across the city enabled volunteers in the project to provide leadership, and established a positive and supportive relationship between the project and all kinds of professionals from social workers, to nurses, teachers, health visitors etc.