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A volunteers story – June

June has volunteered for Simon Says since 2008.

“I am passionate about helping the children and making sure they don’t feel alone. The highlight over the last couple of years has been the success of the YPG (young people’s group held in Eastleigh for 11-18 year olds). I learn something new at every group and it is so rewarding. As well as working at the YPG and children’s group in Chandlers Ford I also enjoy making the donations we receive for raffles into something more substantial.

I also enjoy attending events such as the charity car wash at the Eastleigh Fire Station, manning stalls, selling Christmas cards etc.  Volunteering really fits well into my life.  We are such a cheery and welcoming group.

I have learnt the skill of listening and the importance of it.  This is my life after retirement, I feel I have grown with the charity, when I first started I had no experience of working with children but now it is one of the highlights of my month and I love it.  I am now able to, and enjoy, mentoring others.  I am continually grateful for the impact the charity has had on my life and am proud to be apart of something that helps children to help themselves.”

A volunteers story – Marvyn

Marvyn Tyler SmithMarvyn has volunteered for Simon Says since the start (14 ½ years!). She first heard about the Charity from Sally who was a health visitor where Marvyn was working at the time. Marvyn was in the middle of a course on counselling and listening skills and Sally wondered if she would like to put them to good use – and my goodness she has!

Since joining the team, Marvyn has set-up and run support groups, “manned” the support line, helped in the office, attended fundraising events, helped at our residential weekends, given talks and presentations and mentored other volunteers.

Marvyn has always been interested in bereavement and was particularly drawn to Simon Says. Her husband died prematurely leaving her and her two boys. Marvyn would have loved to have had something like Simon Says to support her and her boys at that time and loves that she is now able to offer support to other families in a similar situation through her work with Simon Says.

When asked what she has learnt whilst volunteering Marvyn said that she had learnt a huge amount and too much to remember.

Some of the things are:
•You can’t take a child’s pain away but you can support them through it.
•Bereavement is truly a land without a map, everyone’s experience is unique and we all cope in different ways and differing times and that’s ok.
•How to set up and run support groups.
•How to deal with bereaved children and their anxious parents!
•Children are more resilient than we think.
•We need to be honest with children (age appropriately!), they can cope with the truth.

Marvyn loves volunteering for Simon Says. She enjoys watching the children’s camaraderie as they come to terms with their loss and learn that they aren’t alone. At the groups they get to normalise their experience and be around others in a similar situation. “We are a really great team and get to have fun times with the children too, and that’s ok”.

 

The charity is always looking for new volunteers to join. How about it?

Email: volunteers@simonsays.org.uk  to contact us, or telephone 08453 055 744