Volunteering with SeeSaw is a fun and rewarding experience and it can make a huge difference to the lives of bereaved children and their families. Maxine has been a Volunteer Support Worker for SeeSaw since 2007 this is what she has to say:
When I retired from teaching I wanted to find interesting voluntary work which would both stretch and reward me and luckily I found Seesaw. The training provided excellent preparation - challenging in places but giving me the tools to do the work. I also joined a band of ‘like thinking’ people who have since become my friends. A sense of humour is essential, and using glitter and glue compulsory!
What makes our visits valuable to children is that we give our time – time for that one child.
Time to fill memory boxes and help to manage difficult feelings, time for fun and walks and time to listen to questions too difficult to ask close family.
Every time you knock on the door of a new family you are beginning a journey with the child which lasts as long as you are needed.
My role is to encourage hope for the future and capture joyful moments from the past.
I feel very privileged to be invited into the homes of families and grateful we can make a difference.
SeeSaw provides grief support to children and young people in Oxfordshire who have been bereaved of a parent, sibling or close family member. This may be telephone support, a home visit to parents and carers, or in some situations 1:1 support for children and young people.
Much of this 1:1 support is carried out by our team of Volunteer Support Workers. The work they do with children is child led, and involves a mixture of talking, guided activities, exploration of feelings, memory work and resilience building.
Currently we have a team of 16 Volunteer Support Workers who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. They are the backbone of the one to one work that SeeSaw offers to children and families. As such they are a very important part of the SeeSaw team. Last year our volunteers gave 1,000 hours of their time supporting families.
“Our VSW was my safety net. She helped us immensely and we are eternally grateful.”
Families tell us that the support they receive from their Volunteer Support Worker makes a huge difference.