Lend your voice to designing the Post Suicide Support Services

4 locally facilitated co-design workshops are seeking to bring together people who have a lived experience of suicide bereavement with those who work in postvention, such as first responders, and community post suicide support roles. The aim is to work together on designing what the new NSW Post Suicide Support Services will look like in your local area.

The 4 workshops will be held in the Nepean Blue Mountains, Campbelltown, Bateman’s Bay, and inner Sydney areas. If you or anyone you know, either your colleagues or families might be interested to join these workshops, please feel free to make contact with Bridget Betzold at bridget@rosesintheocean.com.au.

For more details on a workshop in your area, please download the flyer.

Sydney Workshop

Nepean Blue Mountains Workshop

Campbelltown Workshop

Bateman’s Bay Workshop

Volunteer Profile – Shane Bailey

Age:

28

How many camps have you attended?

Twelve

Why do you volunteer for Feel the Magic®?

To support grieving children so they know that grief is not a debilitating affliction. It is a normal part of life and it can, in time, become a positive part of their story, not a shameful one

What is your favourite season and why?

Summer. It’s a time of celebration with friends and family and we can enjoy so many positive aspects of life.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about grief?

This probably isn’t advice, just a great way of defining grief that resonated with me: “Grief is the price we pay for love”

What inspires you about our campers?

Their resilience. They innately have the ability to bounce back from anything, it’s just a matter of unlocking that ability with them by giving them the best tools to do so.

A final note from Shane:

No exaggeration: volunteering for Feel The Magic is the best decision I’ve ever made. The tools they’ve taught me and just the way being a part of this community has changed me, has made me a better person. I’m a better friend, colleague, brother and son because of it. I’ll continue to volunteer for and contribute to Feel The Magic as long as I’m able.

Volunteer Profile – Kelly Drover

Age:

38

How many camps have you attended?

I’m about to attend my fourth

Why do you volunteer for Feel the Magic®?

I lost my husband suddenly and unexpectedly, and having a young child of my own, was faced with the challenge of dealing with my own loss and devastation whilst supporting my son at the same time with his heartbreak. I wanted to use my experience to give back to others and to be able to make a difference in the lives of grieving children and it actually proved to be quite cathartic for my grief journey.

What is your favourite season and why?

Summer! It’s so rewarding on the final day of Camp seeing the growth in the Campers and watching them celebrate and share what they have learnt with their fellow campers and families.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about grief?

Grief is not linear. Grief is real. It’s unavoidable and part of human life. And we don’t need to suppress it in order to survive it.

What inspires you about our campers?

Watching these children who have experienced such devastation coming to Camp and living out the Feel the Magic values….growing together, empathising with each other, empowering each other and connecting with each other. They are so brave and their strength is something that I really admire.

A final note from Kelly:

I’ve had the honour of attending Camp Magic not only as a Mentor but also as a Parent when my son James attended. It has been a life-changing experience, watching my campers grow and being able to witness the benefits of them attending camp, but it has also being a great way for my son and me to learn new tools and communicate in the same language when dealing with our emotions and grief journey. The Feel the Magic community feels like a second family to us now.

Volunteer profile – Caelin Evans

Name: Caelin Evans

Age: 18

How many camps have you attended?  5

Why do you volunteer for Feel the Magic®? I volunteer because it helps me ground myself in my grief and it really makes me feel like I’m surrounded by family and I truly am – Feel the Magic® has become a second family to me which allows me to express feelings and emotions that is something normally really hard for me.

What is your favourite season and why? My favourite season is winter because it allows me to express the deeper emotions that I need to get to spring and summer.

What is your favourite part about camp? It’s really hard to decide my favourite part of camp because the whole thing is just amazing! Right from when campers get there to when campers leave, it is packed full of fun and friends that are made there are always going to be friends for life. I’m still friends with people from the very first Camp Magic® and I’ve made new friends as a mentor!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about grief? I would say the best piece of advice I’ve heard about grief is that there is no right way to grieve. Everyone had a different relationship with their loved one, therefore, they have a right to grieve differently to someone else. Everyone is allowed to be themselves in their grief.

What inspires you about our campers? Camp Magic® campers are by far the strongest people I’ve met. The older kids, the younger kids, all of them. These kids have been through the worst that adults shouldn’t even have to deal with and these kids have lost everything at such a young age and some have been traumatised by this grief and the journey they had to take to get to the grieving stage and they are still shining bright and laughing and cheering each other on and having fun like nothing has ever gone wrong in their life.

A personal note from Caelin to James and Kristy:  Kirsty and James Thomas have truly changed my life. The best thing my mum has done for me these past five years is send me off to Camp Magic®. There were times where I refused to go but was forced to anyway, but I came back again and again and I’m now a mentor and that’s because of Kristy and James’ programme. It has changed my life and has allowed me to bring out a confidence that I didn’t know I had and I created friends with people that I’m still friends with today and it’s been years since the first camp. It doesn’t feel like a school camp that mum forced me to go on. It’s more like staying over at my auntie’s house where all our cousins are around and it’s just pure fun and connection.

Caelin (at left), with her mentor, on her first camp in 2015.
Caelin, at left, with four other campers who are now trained as mentors.

If you too would like to volunteer at Feel the Magic®, click here to learn more and apply online.

Volunteer profile – Trent McGee

Name: Trent McGee

Age: 41

How many camps have you attended? 10 (all of them!)

Why do you volunteer for Feel the Magic®? After losing my mother at age 25 in a car accident, I know all too well how hard it is to deal with such loss and tragedy. When I heard of Feel the Magic® and what it does for grieving children, I wanted to help out and make a difference to young grieving lives.

What is your favourite season and why? Summer, because this is when you see the growth in all the children on the last day of Camp Magic®.

What is your favourite part about camp? Witnessing the campers bonding and realising they’re not alone. Also the connection between mentors who are all great people and the Talk Time Leaders leading by example.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about grief? Grief doesn’t define who you are and although it doesn’t go away it does get easier.

What inspires you about our campers? Witnessing children thrive outside of camp and hearing them say that their Camp Magic® experience changed their life.

If you too would like to volunteer at Feel the Magic®, click here to learn more and apply online.