Author: Maddie Bain

In recognition of Volunteers Week and our recent King’s Award for Voluntary Service win, Maddie talks about the work of our Volunteer Support Workers.

Grief brings enormous feelings – bereavement and loss are familiar to most of us, yet each person experiences grief differently.

Children may be worried about their grief making others sad or worried. They may worry that by feeling happy or excited, people will think they have forgotten the person who died. They may have unanswered questions or concerns about what the future will bring.

SeeSaw VSWs come from all sorts of backgrounds; some of them have had experience with bereavement. Above all, they are trusted, trained, and supported adults who can listen without expectation or judgment.

They know that grief doesn’t have a specific look and that all feelings around bereavement are valid.

Before meeting with a VSW, families will spend time with one of our Family Practitioners. If they decide that a volunteer support worker could be helpful, we will arrange for work to begin. Meeting with a VSW normally happens in the young person’s home but may also occur in school or at our offices.

The VSW will help the young person fit together the pieces of the story of how their family member died, explore the feelings they might experience, and learn how to manage those feelings now and in the future.

They help young people gather memories of the person who died and find new ways to hold the memory of that person as they move through their lives.

Without our VSWs, we could not run the service we provide. We are absolutely delighted that their work, and the work of all our volunteers, has been recognised with the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.


Six smiling women are standing looking at the camera. The woman in the centre of the image holds a glass award. This is the Kings Award for Voluntary Service


On a sunny Wednesday at the beginning of May, two of our VSWs, Anne and Simon, represented the whole SeeSaw team when they attended a party at Buckingham Palace.

Simon’s verdict: It was right royal!  Beautiful gardens in the bright sunshine – a real sense of occasion. We saw the royals – from a distance – lots of grand Beefeaters and discreet royal security, classy tea and picnic on the lawns to the music of two military bands. Loads of people, lots of different uniforms, some fabulous national dress, and a sea of hats. Everyone had a story to tell.

A man and a woman in formal dress are standing in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace

Meanwhile, at the SeeSaw offices, we had a lovely celebration with our other Volunteer Support Workers, along with some of the other amazing community and office volunteers and the trustees – who not only volunteer their time as the SeeSaw board but also organized the whole event.

You can find out more about volunteering for our fundraising team here

We are not currently recruiting for Volunteer Support Workers but if you are interested to know more, or would like to be contacted next time we advertise keep an eye on our VSW page where you can get in touch to go on our contact list.

A group of people, a mix of men and women, all smiling at the camera. The woman in the front is wearing a black shirt and white trousers and holds a glass award.