Sally Taylor MBE – BBC South Today
Why I back Simon Says
I have been delighted to have been involved with Simon Says since meeting Sally Stanley in 2001.
When I met Sally her story of seeking bereavement support for her two children brought back painful memories of the loss of my own mother to breast cancer when I was 5 years old and my sister was 2.
We often talk about whether things might have been better for us if we had been offered counselling or even someone to talk to during those difficult times. It was the 1960s and, in those days, it was believed to be better for children not to know anything, in a way to protect us, and I don’t blame anyone for that.
So when I discovered that very little had changed since I was a child, I was amazed and had no hesitation in getting involved. Simon Says is there to help children and their families through bereavement. It is a difficult time for all but especially for children who may not understand what is going on. When you consider the trauma they’re going through and the emotions from anger to disbelief and despair, it is staggering that there isn’t something formally in place for them. So Simon Says is filling that much needed gap. I can’t think of a better charity to be involved with and one which is needed so badly.
I am proud to be the patron and hope that maybe Simon Says can ease some of these childrens’ pain. I certainly wish it had been there for me when I was a child.
Mathew Hayes DM FRCS (Urol)
It was a series of strange coincidences that first brought Simon Says to my notice.
I had already worked with one of the founders of this fantastic charity, and had already heard from others of the big difference that it was making across Hampshire to the lives of many children and their families at such a difficult time.
The sudden death of a friend of mine, leaving his young family devastated, brought home to me the effects of bereavement on those left behind, particularly on children and young people.
Soon thereafter I was asked if I might like to support Simon Says as a patron – I was, of course, delighted to be able to do so.
Since then I have been really impressed by the hard work and dedication of the team, and amazed by the generosity of all those fund-raisers who give so much of their time to help.
We all know how well the Great British public like to get behind a good cause, and I can think of none better than to help the youngest and most vulnerable members of our community at a time when they need it most.
Thank you to all of those of you who continue to support the work of Simon Says. We are very grateful for anything that you can offer – every penny you give makes a difference to another young person and their family.
Sally is the founder and has been a trustee for Simon Says since its inception in 2001 and from 2015 has stepped down to become one of the Charity Patrons. She brings a wealth of experience and insight into the work of Simon Says from her long NHS employment and more recently as a school governor. She holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Pyscho-Social Palliative Care from Southampton University.
Ben Richards – Patron
Ben has been involved in the Stationery industry since leaving school and started his own company ‘Whitegrove’ in 1993. Whitegrove became part of the Office Team Group in 2005 and at the time of the sale had grown to a £20M organisation with 150 staff. Since stepping down from the executive running of the company, Ben has been involved in Governance of Schools, The Princes Trust and property development. He was a trustee and Chairman of Simon Says for 10 years and became a Patron in April 2017.