What Do Others Say
Everyone who comes to a workshop will have a different experience but here is what it was like for one girl...
My Slide Away Workshop ExperienceWritten by a 15 year old girl who attended a Slide Away workshop.
"Before I attended a Slide Away workshop I was really apprehensive and unsure whether or not I wanted to go. My Mum convinced me that I should at least go and see what it was like and said that if I didn’t feel it was right for me I didn’t have to finish the workshop. My Mum went to the parent’s workshop and said that everyone was really friendly and assured me that I would enjoy the activities.
I went along the next morning feeling really scared and when I arrived saw that everyone else looked as nervous as me. When everyone had arrived I soon started to feel calm. I’ve always been very closed off and unwilling to talk about my feelings and about my loss and went with the intention of not sharing much about myself. However, I found that with the influence of the group I was happy to tell my story. Having other people with similar situations share things about themselves made me feel comfortable and not like the spot light was on me. I had tried counselling in the past but it didn’t suit me. I found that speaking with the group was a far better way for me to talk about things and being with people more my age and with similar experiences made me feel able to talk.
The activities were really good as they made me think really hard about good times, making me remember so many more happy memories than I could previously think of. It also made me have a serious think about what I could do to help myself and what others around me could do for me. Something that I found particularly helpful about Slide Away was that I got to meet people who had suffered in a similar way to me. Meeting these people helped me to see that I was not alone and I was able to make friends with people that could relate with me in a way my other friends couldn’t.
After the first day I felt happy to back as my group had really bonded and everyone involved made me feel at home and completely comfortable. The atmosphere and the people at the workshop made me feel confident and supported so that I could think about what had happened and embrace my feelings.
I’m really glad that I went to the workshop as I feel that it really benefited me. It also gave my mum peace of mind as she could see that it had helped me. I’ve also been able to get involved with other events with Slide Away which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I would definitely recommend Slide Away."
I am a Chaplain at St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone and, over the past four years, have been privileged to escort several of our students on Slide Away Workshops.
Slide Away’s thorough and very professional preparation for, and presentation, of these courses cannot be over-emphasised. A relaxed and supportive atmosphere is created where young people are able to begin to come to terms with their feelings arising from someone very close to them having died. The various activities undertaken are well chosen and sufficiently flexible to accommodate individual students of mixed age and ability. The young people are given the opportunity and help to create some items and mementos to take home to help them with their memories of their loved ones. A lot of individual feeling and pride goes into making these and the students also have a lot of fun.
One thing that cannot be anticipated but, in my experience invariably comes about, is the support the young people give to and gain from each other, which is very special to see. It is not unusual for ongoing friendships and, therefore, continuing mutual support to arise among the youngsters.
I consider Slide Away Workshops invaluable in assisting students to come to terms with close bereavement as they create a friendly and caring environment for young people to be given the individual attention and time they need to help them.
Joan Husband - February 2008