The POA are proud to be enter into a professional relationship with The Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS), an independent charity founded in 2003.

Trained volunteers offer free, confidential, emotional support and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and others attending an Inquest Coroners’ Courts in England.

An Inquest can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved. We understand that a Coroner’s Court can be a bewildering place to attend. As a witness, it is an event of which you may have little or no understanding or control.

Our aim is to help, guide and support everyone attending an Inquest. The CCSS trained volunteers will support people through the often complicated and confusing process and explain the Inquest procedure to you, helping you have a much better understanding of your role within this unfamiliar environment.

The CCSS Helpline team can also offer emotional support and practical information about the Inquest process remotely. They are also able to support people when they attend a Public Inquiry. 

Pre- Court

If you have been asked to attend a Coroners Court the CCSS may be able to take you into the court before the proceedings start and will explain how an Inquest is conducted, the layout of the court, where everyone will sit and their roles during the Inquest. For a full list of courts where the CCSS is available please visit their website

If a pre-visit is not possible then then the CCSS Helpline will contact a local volunteer who is familiar with the court who will call you back. They can talk you through the process and in addition tell you about practicalities such as parking transport or where to get a coffee.

If the Court has a CCSS team

If you are required to attend Coroners Court, you should let CCSS know in advance that you are attending. They are aware that you may not wish to be in contact with the bereaved family or other witnesses so we will ask another volunteer to support them where possible. They will also keep you separate from the family and any press in attendance.

CCSS will meet you on the day and talk you through the running order for the day and be in court when you give evidence.

If the Court has no CCSS team

CCSS can’t always be at court to meet with you face to face. However, they can always be there by being at the end of the phone both before and after the day.

Accessing support-    You can do this via the CCSS Helpline on 0300 111 2141, quoting “POA”. 

Monday – Friday 09.00-19.00 and Saturday 09.00-14.00.

CCSS hold a large database of support organisation and peer groups that they can signpost you to for additional support.

All support is free and confidential and can be over the phone or via e-mail as well as in Court.

Please make all members aware of this excellent Membership Benefit.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.