Heather Williams – Service Operational Manager
I am the Lead Dramatherapist for Indigo Team at Croydon University Hospital, supporting children and young people through loss and change. I am also part of the teaching team at Roehampton University MA Dramatherapy.
I have worked with children and young people for over twenty years and since qualifying as a dramatherapist I have specialised in Childhood Bereavement, completing a Diploma in this subject at St Christopher’s Hospice (Middlesex University). I believe that children and young people can reach their full potential and learn to cope with their grief but they need the opportunity to talk about and explore their feelings around their loss and discover ways to carry their grief with them.
I am passionate about delivering a service that all local bereaved families’ can access in order to support them through what can be a very dark and lonely time.
Karen Chapman – Lead Family Support Worker
With a degree in Economics and 15 years working in various analytical and account management roles, I gave up full time paid employment to look after my young children. I then began volunteering in the charitable sector, training with St Christopher’s Hospice to work with terminally ill patients and with the Candle Project to support bereaved children. Such work has bought me great joy! It has been a privilege to join the Living On team and support local families and their children, including offering support and advice to schools when a pupil has a loved one die.
I work part-time as the Lead Family Support Worker for Living On and volunteer as a Buddy.
Clare Kemp – Family Support Worker
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to work with children when I grew up! After completing my Social Psychology degree, I worked with children and adolescents with mental health needs, and then spent 18 months teaching English as a foreign language in Poland. It was a natural step for me to complete my studies and become a primary school teacher. I loved teaching and enjoyed helping children achieve their potential academically and emotionally for over a decade. I left teaching to be a mum to my daughter – another job I had always wanted to do!
Facing the bereavement of a close friend as well as multiple miscarriages of my own, made me realise now my daughter is older, I still very much want to work with children but in a different capacity. I did some voluntary work during Covid to support an elderly lady living alone, and then began to support the family of my friend after she died. These paths led me to finding out about Living On and the wonderful work they do for children, young people and their families locally and when this Family Support Worker role came up, I went for it. I’m so looking forward to being part of a team of such lovely people all working together to support families locally coming to term with loss and finding a way to live on.
Jackie Vaughan – Family Support Worker
Prior to working at Living On I worked for 18 years part-time at a local theatre in their marketing department along with studying to be counsellor.
After qualifying as a counsellor and volunteering at a local hospice for 3 years as a bereavement counsellor, I felt it was time to move on and I was delighted when the position of Family Support Worker became available at Living On.
I have always been curious, passionate about helping others, a good listener and although the path to becoming a counsellor was a long one, once I started I knew I had found my calling.
Working with children, giving them the time and space to explore their thoughts and feelings, walking alongside them on their journey, does I hope in some small way show them they are not alone.
Sue Arnold – Volunteer
My clinical background is Nursing , Health Visiting and a Specialist Nurse in safeguarding children.
As well as being a Trustee, I am pleased to be able to volunteer for Living On bereavement service and to be able to give back my time and experience to make a difference for local children and families who have experienced a loss of a loved one.
Caroline Rous – Volunteer
I was a primary teacher for 13 years and still volunteer with a local primary school. I am also involved with children’s work in my church.
I volunteer for Living On because I want to support children, especially of primary school age, who have been bereaved. I believe the service is essential to the future welfare of these children.
Zoe Clayson – Volunteer
I worked in a local Primary School as a Teaching Assistant for nine years, while raising my family.
I heard about Living On, and the wonderful work they do, and was keen to volunteer having the time to do so.
After comprehensive training from the dedicated team, I embarked on a rewarding and fulfilling journey of helping children and young people with their grief.
Having experienced my own significant losses during my earlier life, when support of this kind was non-existent, I was keen to reach out to those in need. I believe everyone deserves to be listened to, empathised with and supported in their grief, at what can be a very lonely time.
Ceri Merchant Potts – Volunteer
I have worked children and have been a primary school teacher all of my working life. I have worked at a local primary school since 2006 when I moved from York to London. I met Living On when they came to my school to support us with a family who had been bereaved and soon after I became a volunteer and bereavement buddy, working alongside the most amazing team. I adore volunteering for this wonderful charity and working with children and families is, I find, a hugely rewarding process.
Jane Vasudevan – Volunteer
My name is Jane and I’m a volunteer support worker at Living On. I have previously worked with children, teaching swimming and sporting activities and am looking forward to supporting children and young people and their families who have suffered the loss of significant family member. I have also worked in the charitable sector for a number of years working for a charity that supports older people experiencing loneliness and isolation and helping them reconnect with their local community.
Clare Obourne – Volunteer
Having spent my adult life working in primary education I retired just before the pandemic hit and my intention of expanding my experience of pastoral support as a volunteer was put on hold.
Fortunately I had worked with Living On and know first hand of the wonderful support they offer to bereaved children and their families.
As a volunteer I am looking forward to working with and actively supporting children who have experienced bereavement.
Megan Duckworth – Events Manager
I am in my third year of university studying Events Management and I’m completely my placement year at Living On. I first came across this amazing service after losing my dad when I was 14. I experienced first hand how hard the team works to help bereaved families. I’m so excited to start my placement with Living On, running their events.
Ria – Volunteer
After spending the past few years studying counselling, I wanted to utilise my listening skills and my desire to help by giving my time to Living On and becoming part of their wonderful community that help so many families. Grief effects us all in many different ways and helping children navigate their journey through bereavement safely, in their own time, is a rewarding experience that I am honoured to be involved with.
If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org