Missing pieces

Round & About


Locally based charity Jigsaw helps children come to terms with the loss of a parent. Here’s why you should support the Big Christmas Challenge.


More than 40,000 children across the UK lose a parent each year, which works out at 112 every single day.

In Surrey and West Sussex alone, by the age of 16, one in 20 children and young people, will have experienced the death of one or both of their parents.*

Jigsaw (South East) offers a bereavement support service for children and young people who have experienced the death of a significant family member through illness, accident, suicide or murder (through groups in Reigate, Guildford and East Grinstead). Its Grief Project, delivers a six-week support group for families.

‘It was great to share our memories and to realise you are not on your own’

‘Made me realise how much it effected me and it helped a lot that I’m not the only one going through it and everything will be OK’

Through the Preparing for Loss service, Jigsaw offees child-centred, tailored support to families, who will be helped by a named support worker. This individual works on a one-to-one basis with the child and/ or young person when their loved one is terminally ill, at the time of the bereavement and in the initial days and months following the death. They give parental support and advice during this difficult period for the family.

‘First time I’d talked about the painful memories’

‘Jigsaw has brought me so far since my Dad died 3 years ago’

Sophie Bewley, fundraising co-ordinator at Jigsaw (South East) says: “We’re a small charity and we are reliant on fundraising, donations and grants. These ensure we continue to deliver vital services to help children and young people during a devastating and vulnerable period in their lives.

“The Big Give Christmas Challenge runs from noon on Tuesday, 3rd December, until noon on Tuesday, 10th December. During this period all donations to Jigsaw (South East) will be doubled. We’re aiming to raise a minimum of £3,000 during the week.  The money will be used to help fund our Family Groups in 2020.”

Jigsaw (South East)

For information on how to donate to Jigsaw (South East) during the Big Christmas Challenge visit www.jigsawsoutheast.org.uk/ or https://www.jigsawsoutheast.org.uk/make-a-donation/

If you are interested in volunteering for Jigsaw (South East) please contact Volunteer co-ordinator Sarah Dodson by email:  [email protected]

* Parsons, S (2011) Long-term Impact of Childhood Bereavement: Preliminary Analysis of the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70). London: Child Well-being Research Centre.

* Child Bereavement Network: www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/research/local-statistics.aspx

Museum & Jigsaw

Round & About


Haslemere Museum and Jigsaw School have teamed up to help special needs visitors get the most out of museum visits.

Autism gives people a special view of the world which can make unexpected events and visits to unfamiliar places very challenging but this initiative can help with that.

Hayley Locke, a senior teacher at Jigsaw, visited the museum, which already had many facilities for school visits, after being approached by them.

She said it felt like a safe place “with lots of interactive activities”. Hayley added: “I could see our pupils enjoying a trip there, including those I wouldn’t usually suggest to visit a museum.”

Kay Topping, the museum’s education officer, visited Jigsaw to watch some classroom sessions as the school worked on preparing pupils to visit the museum’s dinosaurs gallery. The class teacher demonstrated the four-step format used, based on a method called Attention Autism. This ranged from handling dinosaur and fossil toys to making fossils.

“It was great to see the children in their own environment and see how a session works at school,” said Kay.

“I learnt not to expect them to engage too much, and that engagement is more likely to be with individuals rather than as a group.”

Six pupils aged six to 11 went on the museum visit – which was a great success and included a session on dinosaurs, handling the toys and making fossils. The children were prepared with the visual schedule and social story and arrived to a familiar face.

“The trip went well, especially as this was a totally new environment for the children,” Kay said.

Hayley agreed: “It was lovely to see each pupil engaging with the activities. The preparation and the familiar learning format certainly helped them get a lot more out of it.

“One pupil was nervous of the new place but once calm he enjoyed stirring the plaster to make fossils. Another loved all the dinosaur toys and is now keen to explore other animals in the museum.”

Further visits are planned including to the African exhibition.

Photos show Harry exploring dinosaur toys and Tristan getting to grips with the ammonite 

More information

Find out more about the Jigsaw School and what they do here