A WINCHESTER golf club has been praised for their generous donation towards a child bereavement charity.

South Winchester Golf Club has been acknowledged for their support, after raising £13,081 for Hampshire charity Simon Says.

The Romsey-based charity was founded 21 years ago by Sally Stanley, whose aim was to build a small support network for the young people of Hampshire, who have experienced the death of a parent or significant person in their life, after her husband passed away.

While searching for the right support for her two young children, Sally had run out of options and establishing the Simon Says to make sure that other parents would not find themselves in the same position.

Chief operating officer, Chandra McGowan said: "We have 250 volunteers who are passionate about the charity, mainly because they were bereaved as a child, and now they're coming back to support the next generation of children.

"The support has been amazing. There are so many lovely people that show support and I think it's a hidden thing that we don't talk about, but when we open the conversation up they bring up how they're connected."

Today the charity runs a helpline, support groups, activity days and provides advice and materials for schools. There is no government funding so the generosity of the golf club and others like them ensures that this vital service is there for families in a time of distress.

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Women's captain, Sue Gibbs said: "When I was working in a local Primary School, one of my roles was as a Pastoral Support worker. One of the most difficult issues for children to deal with was bereavement. What do you say to the five-year-old whose mother has died and says 'I like talking to you Mrs Gibbs about mummy, because daddy always cries when I mention her name?'

"Simon Says helped myself and many other practitioners support those children through these most difficult times. Their help was invaluable, not just to us, the children, but also the remaining parent and other family members.

"Unfortunately, fundraising for “Simon Says” was curtailed as most of our activities in our year were cancelled due to Covid. However, during the few months of our golf course being open, the members supported our charity every way they could. In particular, one of our lady members, Vicki Dunlop, raised a huge portion of our figure doing a tandem skydive, which was completely out of her comfort zone."

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