Murder worker Dave
Murder worker Dave (Channel 4)

After someone is murdered, a specific group of people are employed to help the grieving family cope with their loss.

Dubbed the Murder Workers, a Channel 4 film follows staff from Victim Support's National Homicide Unit, who are trained to help people cope with a loved one being killed.

After someone dies, either by murder or manslaughter, the team steps in to offer practical and emotional support for the family, who are thrown head first into the confusing criminal system.

They help with funeral arrangements, apply for compensation, close down bank accounts, cancel booked, holidays, offer support when homes are turned into crime scenes and offer a shoulder to cry on.

The Cutting Edge film shows murder workers Dave, Alli and Carol as they go about their jobs helping people with their grief, visiting the homes of people recently bereaved. Over 700 people are murdered every year in the UK.

Jackie's daughter was murdered by her husband (Channel 4)

One of these people is Marie, who comes face to face with the men who have been accused of killing her son, Lee.

They also meet with Jackie, who is trying to get custody of her three young grandchildren after their father killed their mother, who was Jackie's daughter.

Carol, one of the workers, spoke to Channel 4 about her job and what it entails. Initially, she said, they will visit the family home to make an assessment while offering support.

They then return to help with practical jobs, such as childcare and speaking with employers, after which the family will decide how often they see their worker.

The family is taken through the process of plea and case management hearings up to the trial: "About three to four weeks before the trial, you would start to work with them quite often, to explain the trial process, why people are going to say terrible things about the deceased, how can they cope with that, how can they react to that in court and not be thrown out of the court room.

The workers help families through the whole court process (Channel 4)

"We would arrange a pre-trial visit for them; that's where we would take them to court, and with the assistance of the witness service we'd show them round the court room, explain who sits where, who does what.

"A lot of the families will get to the end of the trial and then have a major emotional crisis. It may be at that point that we call in counsellors."

Speaking about the hardest part of her job, Carol said: "Watching DVDs with families - the DVDs that show the crime itself or evidence of the crime - is incredibly difficult, because, again, you've not seen that before, and you're watching it with a family member, and you're there to give them support, so when you see something horrific all you want to do is break down yourself.

"And I think probably the hardest thing, because you get to know the families very well, is to sit in court with them and watch them crying, confused, sobbing, and to not join in yourself."

Murder Workers is on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight (Thursday).