Why I Volunteer – Diane’s Story

Diane became a volunteer after her retirement from working as a nurse within the NHS with acutely ill children in the hospital and community. Diane believed that a volunteering role with Sandy Bear was something she could do that was worthwhile following her retirement.

Diane went through training, provided by Anita and Karen, the Clinical Leads of Sandy Bear, in January 2019 and discusses openly why she volunteers.

“I was aware that the correct care of children and young people allows for a more rounded adulthood. Thus, I knew that proper bereavement care can help to prevent mental health issues later in life. This was one of the reasons why I wanted to volunteer.”

Diane shared how rewarding it is to be a part of the bereavement support groups with the children aged 11 years and younger. “To see these young people, who are obviously grieving, share their stories with me is very humbling. I see them at their first session where they are worried, frightened and tearful and I help them to ‘cope with life’ and have fun again. We undertake lots of activities within the group sessions which have beneficial effects on the children and young people.”

As well as volunteering within the bereavement support groups, Diane also helps at our therapeutic events with the children, young people and their families.

“Prior to being part of the Sandy Bear family, I had minimal contact with close, personal grief. Through contact and education with the young people about the grieving process, my personal life has been enhanced. My volunteering role has enabled me to view life and death in a different way which has had a positive effect on my day-to-day living.”