Meet the volunteer team

VSWs

Our specially trained and experienced Volunteer Support Workers (VSWs) have various ways of helping children to explore their grief, often using a variety of art and craft materials and games. They help children re-tell the story of what has happened and who has died - this can help to identify any misunderstanding that may have been communicated or that children have misinterpreted. They are trained to help children explore the complex feelings associated with grief and find ways of talking about them and expressing them appropriately. 

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. Last year our volunteers gave 1,000 hours of their time supporting families.


Our VSW Coordinator - Jenny Armstrong

JennyJenny initially got involved with SeeSaw as a Volunteer Support Worker in 2003, before becoming a member of staff in 2006. Jenny is currently SeeSaw's Volunteer Coordinator. She has responsibility for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of our fantastic team of VSWs. Jenny will be retiring in May 2019 following 16 years of service for SeeSaw. She will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers and families alike! 

We are grateful to Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme for a grant which helped fund the Volunteer Coordinator project in 2018-19. Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. 


Volunteering for SeeSaw

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."