Sandy Bear

May 2021

Hannah Underwood appointed as new Charity Coordinator at Sandy Bear

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Hannah UnderwoodHannah Underwood has recently been welcomed into the Sandy Bear team as a new Charity Coordinator. Hannah joins at an important time for Sandy Bear to support the growing need for the service due to the challenges presented by Covid 19. Hannah will be supporting the development of the charity that works closely with children and young people who have lost a significant loved one.

Passionate about working with children and young people, Hannah qualified as a primary school teacher and worked in Pembrokeshire until the Covid 19 pandemic hit. Having herself experienced bereavement at a young age, Hannah acknowledges the importance of child bereavement support and early intervention.

The role of Charity Coordinator has been created following the successful application by Sandy Bear to BBC Children in Need’s Covid-19 Next Steps funding programme, resulting in an award of £53k to increase staff resources at the charity.

Hannah says “When I saw this position advertised online, I jumped at the opportunity to work within such a role. I am really pleased to have been offered the position. I feel very passionate about the work Sandy Bear carries out and I know I will thrive within a position which supports children, young people and families within our county. I am really looking forward to developing within this role and making a positive impact for those who need it during such a difficult time.”

Ceri Crichton, Charity Development Lead at Sandy Bear states that “We are delighted to welcome Hannah into the Sandy Bear family and I am sure that Hannah will make a significant difference to bereaved children, young people and their families within Pembrokeshire. We also would like to thank BBC Children in Need who have fully-funded this post so that we can continue to develop our charity and advocate for the need for child bereavement to vulnerable children”.

Meleri Jones, Wales Regional Officer, BBC Children in Need commented: “BBC Children in Need is committed to improving the lives of those children and young people who need it most by supporting projects like this which work locally to make real and lasting changes to young lives.”

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Sandy Bear announces new Ambassador, Maya Sonvico

Maya SonvicoWe are proud to share that Maya Sonvico has accepted the new role of Charity Ambassador to highlight the importance of child bereavement services and inspire others to support the Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity cause.

 Maya is a part of the Sandy Bear family and was one of the first children to be referred into the Sandy Bear service following the death of her father from cancer in 2007. She believes that the service was instrumental in helping her in later life when her brother died unexpectedly when she was just 20 years old.

 “As a teenager it is very difficult because you’re going through a lot of change,” says Maya, “there is a lot of heightened emotion at that age. Grief can fester if it is not dealt with…it was so different with the loss of my brother… I didn’t have to think ‘how am I going to get through this; how will I do this?’ as I did when my dad died.”

 “Sandy Bear gave me space to be a normal teenager whilst also helping me deal with the loss. They said: ‘this loss is a big part of you but there is so much more to you as well. I am delighted to be able to give something back like they helped me when I needed it too”.

 Ceri Crichton, Charity Development Lead said “We are over the moon that Maya has chosen to support Sandy Bear, both as Ambassador and group volunteer. She has accomplished so much despite having faced some of the most challenging circumstances in a young life and we are proud that she is our Ambassador. I very much look forward to collaborating with Maya and we would welcome more young people to join alongside her too”.

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