The nature of the work of Friends at the End as a charity is that sometimes the office receives quite distressing calls from FATE members – or from members of the public who have heard about the support that FATE can offer.
Our staff – chief executive Amanda Ward, and office manager, Sophie Sellers – have a great deal of experience in handling calls from people asking about end of life issues. They regularly deal with calls and emails on sensitive issues, whether it is about how to negotiate the right medical care that respects the wishes of a relative approaching the end of their life, or about planning ahead to ensure one’s own choices are respected – typically through an advance directive and/or power of attorney. And we already have an arrangement to refer people to a solicitor where specific help is needed to prepare formal documents.
But sometimes what someone needs is more extensive conversations with a trained counsellor, particularly for those who are going through a distressing situation related to end of life choices, or who have recently experienced a distressing bereavement.
We are thus very pleased to confirm that the FATE trustees have now established an agreement with a very experienced professionally qualified counsellor to whom enquirers can be referred. When calls are referred to the counsellor, she will offer an initial counselling session of up to an hour (by telephone, or video conference if preferred) to discuss an issue in confidence. If appropriate she may offer follow up sessions.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing distress or anxiety on an issue that falls within FATE’s area of work, please feel free to contact the FATE office (tel 0131 385 8763, email firstname.lastname@example.org). You will need to give some very brief details to Amanda or Sophie so they can assess the situation and to make sure it relates to FATE’s field of work. If they feel counselling could help, and if you agree, they will make arrangements for you to contact the counsellor directly and agree a time to speak. Likewise, if you are not comfortable sharing this information directly with FATE, simply drop us an email advising that you would like to speak to the counsellor and we will directly refer you.
The costs of the counselling will be met by FATE as part of our charitable aims. Mandy’s working hours are Monday – Thursday 9am -9pm.