“I get so much out of volunteering and find it such an enjoyable experience to walk alongside families for a short season in their grief journey. Their resilience always amazes and humbles me.”
Crawley based Alison Fletcher has been volunteering with Jigsaw (South East) bereavement charity since 2014. She has been able to use her skills gained through her day job as a schools counsellor and as a contact supervisor in Children’s Services in her work with the south east groups. Alison has also worked with Jigsaw (South East’s) Preparing for Loss team.
What inspired you to contact Jigsaw (South East)?
I wanted to use my skills in a voluntary capacity closer to home, following other bereavement work with families with HIV.
What do you get out of volunteering?
It’s sometimes tough but I love working with the families and gain so much from them all and their individual stories. I always come away from each group learning more about myself and life itself.
What skills did you bring to the role?
Counselling skills from my training and experience of working with children and families from other work I do.
What skills have you learned?
I recently undertook some group training with Child Bereavement charity and have gained some valuable group facilitation skills, as well as some trauma focused bereavement training. It has all been really helpful.
Has volunteering changed you as a person?
Volunteering for Jigsaw has made me really appreciate life and I am now so conscious of memory making and building positive memories for my own family.
What has volunteering taught you about yourself?
I’ve learned that I’m not as tough as I thought I was! But that’s ok! It has also taught me it’s important to be generous with my time.
What is the best part about being a volunteer?
Getting to know all the wonderful families I come into contact with and having fun with them. I really appreciate and value them allowing me to join in and be part of their journey.
What is the worst thing about volunteering?
Nothing! I really enjoy it!
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a volunteer?
Have you got the time to give? Then give it a try; you will never regret your decision! You will think you are giving but what you gain from the experience far outweighs that, it’s great fun!
We thank Alison and all our volunteers for the invaluable work they do. If you are interested in working with us as a volunteer in fundraising, admin or with families, please contact Sarah Dodson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.