Six years after coming to us for support, Kate Trevelyan joined us as a volunteer and is now one of our Trustees.
Here’s her story of how she came to be giving children the support she herself had.
Kate’s journey with Holding On Letting Go started when she was 14, when her mum suddenly died from cancer.
Struggling with school and home life, she was referred by a teacher for more support from HOLG.
But she wasn’t exactly looking forward to the bereavement weekend she’d been invited to join, saying: “I was nervous and apprehensive about the weekend and what it would involve. I felt like no-one would understand what I was going through and felt like talking wouldn’t help me.”
Throughout the weekend, Kate enjoyed various activities aimed at expressing her emotions including crafts, music and making a memory box – and she soon started to feel differently.
She said: “From the moment I arrived the activities made me realise everyone was here for the same reason, to remember their special person. I was able to open up about my story, share memories of my mum and make items to help with my feelings, which I treasure to this day. I saw the charity on Children in Need and it made me realise I wanted to help children just like they helped me.
“I felt like I could help children open up about their story if they knew I had been through something similar at a young age.”
And so Kate’s volunteering with us began, with initial training, plus ongoing support and training when required.
She has now been volunteering with us for seven years, working one-to-one with the children, helping them go through bereavement and supporting weekends and also helping with other jobs such as catering in the kitchen.
She’s also turned into an ambassador for us, giving talks and even appearing on the TV news to talk about us, her experience and what we offer for children just like the 14-year-old Kate we met all those years ago.
Recently, her story featured in The Mirror newspaper too, interviewed as part of the partnership we have with TSB.
We asked Kate to join us as a Trustee, knowing she would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to us to help us best shape our services for the future.
She said: “I felt very privileged to be given this opportunity when the charity is so close to my heart. Whilst I am a Trustee I hope to help introduce new volunteers and support our user engagement with my experiences from the charity. I still continue to support on the weekends and help grow the charity as much as I can.”
If you have relevant skills and experience and you’d like to join us as a Trustee, contact our CEO Caroline Ford:
03445 611 511.