The charity works to give grief support for children and young people in Oxfordshire and reporter Naomi Herring talks to SeeSaw director Judith Mulligan about what steps are taken to support families through summer and when heading back to school.

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the change in the colour of the leaves and the cold snap in the air which means you can have hot chocolate and cosy up in front of the fire.

The seasons can be significant for many of us and when someone you love has died it can be particularly poignant.

Autumn sees the start of a new school year and can be a difficult time when you have had a child die. You can find yourself missing the school routine or thinking about what they would be studying.

It also signifies the lead up to Christmas, which is another painful time for many families.

Grief doesn’t go away but over the summer the families we work with often take holidays and take a break. Bereavement can be exhausting and sometimes the children and families just want a period of respite.

Once schools start back then families begin to make contact with us again to set up appointments to resume the grief support we offer or new families make contact to tell us about their special person who has died and to ask if we can help.

One part of our work doesn’t slow down over the summer and that is our pre bereavement work. SeeSaw is unusual for a children’s bereavement charity in that we also provide support where a family member is dying.

Children can find this a confusing time, and are often missed out of the communications about the illness and treatment.

We offer support to families to help them to include children and explain to them what is happening and what it might mean for them and for family life. We work closely with the local hospices and hospitals who will often ask families if they want our help.

In the Autumn we also hold our annual trip to Wytham woods for our families and this week we have been busy planning the day.

Each year we invite families we have been working with to come on a day out to enjoy the woods, meet some wildlife, enjoy some craft activities and a lovely barbecue.

We look forward to the day and it is a chance for our families to meet each other, make friends and know that they are not alone; other families have lost loved ones too.

The children can have fun, run around and be children.

It will be my first family event, having joined SeeSaw earlier in the year, and I feel very fortunate to have joined such an amazing charity that carries out such useful work.

I am so impressed by the dedication of our staff and volunteers who are tireless.

Our volunteer support workers support children and young people in their homes, our ambassadors attend events and activities to talk about who we are and what we do and our local supporters are extremely generous with their time and donations.

It has been a real pleasure getting to know SeeSaw’s volunteers, staff, supporters and of course the families.

I will continue to enjoy Autumn but I will also think about what this time of year might mean for others.