Supporting bereaved children & their families in Kent

Holding On Letting Go

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Meet Matt, one of our wonderful volunteers

Published by Caroline, 18 Nov 2016

Holding On Letting Go would like you to meet Matt, one of our wonderful volunteers who works alongside a child at our support weekends. We are always happy to welcome new helpers, if you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved please call or email us. Here is what Matt had to say about his experience:

I am currently an MSc student at the University of Kent, and I heard about HOLG through the University during my 2nd year of my undergraduate degree. I thought that it was the sort of thing that I had to get involved in if I was going to seek a career working directly with people (as I graduated in psychology). I also thought that it would be the most rewarding volunteering opportunity I would probably ever come across. I wasn’t wrong.

At first it seemed daunting, the idea of talking one-on-one with a child that was going through such an emotional and difficult period of their life.
“How would I possibly cope when faced with a child who is visibly upset, looking to me for support and answers?”  

It certainly took a couple of weekends volunteering to help build my courage and confidence, and I reckon the first child I worked with had no idea that I was probably more nervous than they were. However, once we started it took very little time before everyone on that weekend was settled in, in an engaging and supportive fashion. The atmosphere that HOLG creates makes easing into the weekends that bit easier. The rewarding feeling at the end of the first weekend; hearing the change in the young person’s attitude and the visible gratitude from their parent/carer, was enough to ensure that I would be back for more as soon as I could.

The most rewarding experience that working with HOLG has given me personally is watching the transformation in some of the children and young people. So often you catch them shooting you a nervous look on the first morning, telling you that they are wary of how you, a stranger, could possibly help them. Jump forward 24 hours and I’ve found that they always return on the Sunday with a grin beaming from ear to ear.

For those who are thinking of volunteering to help HOLG, I can honestly say that it the most rewarding experience I have ever been part of, and that the family-like community will have you feeling part of the team in no time.

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