23 February 2017

Monday 20 - Sunday 27 February is Student Volunteering Week.

This the 16th year that Student Volunteering Week is taking place and aims to inspire more students to give volunteering a try. Getting involved offers students the chance to develop their skills whilst supporting the local community.

Student, Sasha Lawson, aged 16, from Dr Challoner’s High School in Little Chalfont, Amersham has recently volunteered for local charity, Child Bereavement UK. Here, she talks about her reasons for, and experience of volunteering with the charity that supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child dies or when a child faces bereavement.

I wanted to volunteer with a charity, because I thought it would allow me to give back to causes that touch the lives of many; if not me personally, then my friends and family. I decided to volunteer with Child Bereavement UK because of the incredible work it does in helping people through unimaginably difficult times in their lives.

Loss and bereavement is something that will affect almost everybody at some point, and volunteering for such a worthwhile cause makes the experience even more rewarding. 

I recently supported Child Bereavement UK with their annual Snowdrop Walk at West Wycombe Park, directing visitors to where they could plant snowdrops, where refreshments were being served and greeting and chatting to the families who attended. It was really sweet to see the kids getting so excited doing the treasure hunt and my favourite part of the day was serving drinks and food at the village hall because the staff and volunteers there were so friendly and welcoming.

Seeing the amazing turnout at the Snowdrop Walk – around 800 people, was really inspiring as I could tell it must have taken so much dedication and hard work to organise. For many of the families who attended, the event is close to their hearts and it was very touching to chat to people, and hear about how the charity has helped them.

I would without doubt encourage other students to volunteer if at all possible. Working with Child Bereavement UK made me realise that there are many perks to volunteering that I didn’t even consider. Being able to work with people in the local area and feel a sense of how strong, kind-hearted and determined our community really is, was lovely. For students, there is the additional advantage of being able to build on transferrable skills like communication, organisation and working collaboratively.

Debbie Pounce (pictured below), sixth form administrator at Dr Challoner’s High School said:

We encourage our sixth form students to volunteer and they are allocated lessons to allow them to do so.  We believe that this enables them to make a difference within the community, whilst allowing them to learn new skills and discover new talents.  There are many ways to volunteer and we have been fortunate enough to have links with Child Bereavement UK.  Our students have been truly amazing at stepping forward to help at various events, including festivals, plays and walks as well as helping with collections at local supermarkets and Santa sleighs.

We would certainly encourage other schools to promote the benefits of volunteering and in particular for a local charity.  As a school we have had a positive experience with Child Bereavement UK, where our students have felt their contributions have been invaluable, appreciated and rewarding.  There was no pressure to do more than they could offer and it was completely flexible.

If you are interested in volunteering with Child Bereavement UK, please visit https://childbereavementuk.org/get-involved/volunteer-for-us/. Alternatively for more information you can email [email protected] or call 01494 568919.


Notes for Editors

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. Every year we train more than 8,000 professionals, helping them to better understand and meet the needs of bereaved families.

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