A charity’s community outreach programme for bereaved children has been strengthened thanks to an experienced social worker joining its Horsham office.
Sheila Elliott, who has spent 26 years as a social worker, has joined the Winston’s Wish team as Family Services Lead for SWITCH which helps bereaved children aged 8 to 14.
She will join the charity’s second office, which is in Springfield Road, Horsham.
Sheila brings a wealth of experience to the organisation due to her past role supporting children with physical and learning difficulties, and her recent position as practise manager for children leaving care.
Sheila said: “I’m really looking forward to supporting the successful running of the SWITCH programme and taking it forward using my previous knowledge and experience.
“SWITCH makes a real difference in how young people manage bereavement, and consequently how they cope with other contributing emotional factors and problems.”
The lottery funded programme is delivered across West Sussex and Gloucestershire, supporting children who have lost a parent, carer, grandparent or sibling.
It is run by qualified practitioners and helps bereaved children who are experiencing problems at school, with relationships, and with their behaviour.
The programme helps them build a more positive future and avoid pathways into offending, through family meetings and group sessions with others who have been bereaved.
Susan Tait, family services delivery manager at Winston’s Wish, believes Sheila’s extensive experience within children’s services means she has a clear understanding of the complex issues that vulnerable children face.
She explained: “Sheila has joined WW at a very pivotal time as we consolidate our delivery on the SWITCH programme across West Sussex and Gloucestershire.”
“With her skills and knowledge, she can take this programme of delivery to many more children who will benefit from appropriate support through bereavement.”
SWITCH sits beneath the umbrella of Winston’s Wish, which supports more than 30,000 bereaved children each year.
Anyone who requires guidance or information about supporting a bereaved child can phone The Winston’s Wish Helpline on 08452 03 04 05, 9am-5pm Monday – Friday and 7pm-9.30pm on Wednesdays.