A very special charity by Maydelia Bellew, Newstead Wood School

One of the activities involves colouring sand to represent different memories people have of their loved ones who died. <i>(Image: Maydelia Bellew)</i>
One of the activities involves colouring sand to represent different memories people have of their loved ones who died. (Image: Maydelia Bellew)

Paula Blanchette is one of the volunteers at Holding On Letting Go (HOLG), a bereavement charity that supports both young people and adults when they lose a loved one. They provide activity weekends for 6-10 year olds, 10-17 year olds and also adults.

 

As a volunteer, Paula gets allocated a specific young person, two weeks before the events and gets given their story so she can support them the best that she can throughout the weekend. When asked about her experience over the three years she has been helping, she said, “I normally work with the teenagers, which I didn't choose to do, and I was a bit nervous but when I was put with the teenagers, I really loved it.” She has noticed that even the quietest, shyest of those she has been paired with end up making friends, telling her things they have never told anyone before and can express themselves. “Often children don’t want to talk to adults, so it’s a chance for them just to be free,” she explains.

 

HOLG’s activities aim to get people to hold on to the positive emotions while letting go of anything negative they may have inside. “We spoil them for the weekend and just have fun.”

 

There are very few bereavement charities around for young people, so HOLG is a “very special charity” that gets amazing results and feedback. People can donate on their website and their team can be contacted by phone or email by anyone wanting to volunteer.