My name is Meghan or Meg, and whilst I am not currently volunteering for Simon Says, I am really involved in the charity (or like to think so), all the way from France. A charity that means so much to me. Growing up, friends would lose grandparents, distant relatives and even siblings (all of these losses are devastating), but I never really considered what it meant.

It was only when I got to university that I found friends who had lost a parent, and as of 18 months ago, me and my sisters have joined this not so elite club. In May 2019, I had just handed in my dissertation, I had finally had a day off studying and had been partying like any final year university student who could see and taste the freedom of the end of education ! I had never heard of Simon Says. Then suddenly, my stepdad, Roger, died in a car accident. My sisters and I were 22, 19 and 6 when this happened. From one day to the next, our lives completely altered and my 6-year-old sister lost her dad. My mum heard about Simon Says through the doctor and decided to take Amélie along to a session to see what it was about, and they’ve been going fairly regularly ever since. Simon Says has been a great pillar of support to my family from child to adult with the services they provided then and continue to provide now.

Whilst my other sister and I don’t qualify for Simon Says’ help, we still reap the benefits of their sessions, with Amélie’s smiles and my absolute favourite when Amélie wrote a book about her special person, her best friend who is still alive though the aim was to write it about the person she had lost. Simon Says helps us to work with the new flow of things, where we continue with life but without a special person who was supposed to experience these things with us. My now 7-year-old sister is so resilient and laughs and smiles, and really looks forward to going to Simon Says and meeting the children there.

Having now met Georgie in person, and seeing where the magic happens, I can really get even more of a feel for what Simon Says has established in Hampshire and the lives they help.

As a thank you for all Simon Says does for bereaved children, I made the plunge to run a marathon to raise money for them. An endeavour, if ever there was one! What is so meaningful about this for me is I was always going to run a marathon with Roger and now I have done it, and at the same time was able to give a little back to such a fantastic cause. Even though the marathon is now done, I still have plans and ideas to continue fundraising for Simon Says in the New Year,  and I really hope to continue staying involved with Simon Says in a different capacity too, to continue to give back.  It’s also quite nice to see that I’m not the only one mad enough to do some “extreme” sports like marathons, half marathons and even jumping out of planes!

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