International Volunteers Day

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.

How SeeSaw can help

SeeSaw provides grief support for children, young people and their families in Oxfordshire.  Through appropriate and timely support, SeeSaw can help to reduce the emotional, psychological and mental health consequences of bereavement.  Young people are then able to face the future with hope.

It can be difficult to know what to say to a child when someone has died. Here are some guidelines to help you to talk to your child. 

SeeSaw offers:

  • Telephone consultations to any parent or professional who is concerned about a bereaved child.
  • Home visits to families to assess their needs and talk about ways in which SeeSaw might be able to help.    
  • Tailored individual support for children and young people when needed. This often involves one-to-one sessions with a support worker and takes place where the child is most comfortable – in their own home.    
  • Specialist support to families and professionals when a parent or sibling is dying.        
  • Family events and activity days which enable children, young people and their families to meet together in a fun and relaxed way.      
  • Information and training to school staff when they are supporting a bereaved child in the classroom or managing a death in the school community.     
  • Training, consultancy and resources to professionals working with bereaved children and young people. 

If you are worried about a bereaved child in your care then please call the friendly SeeSaw team for help, advice and guidance on 01865 744768 or email SeeSaw

Please take a few minutes to watch this video, it really brings to life the work we do


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