COVID-19 updates for the AnglicareSA community | Read more

Working full-time as a School Services Officer (SSO), studying to be a drama teacher, and volunteering with AnglicareSA’s Star Bear program, Seb is passionate about working with children and making a positive impact in their lives.

“A lot of people ask me why I would work five days a week with children and then volunteer to spend all weekend with them too,” Seb laughed.

“But I enjoy working in schools. Children are so fascinating, and teach me a thing or two.”

Funded by donors and almost entirely run by volunteers, AnglicareSA’s Star Bear program provides free weekend camps three times a year to support children and their families experiencing grief and loss.

The Star Bear camp provides grief support for children aged from six to 13 years, while Star Bear Family camps cater for families with children and young people aged from five to 17 years.

Seb is a trained volunteer mentor and works one-on-one with a different child at each camp to help them in their journey through grief and loss.

“I love that the camp teaches children that everyone goes through grief and they are not alone in their emotions,” Seb said.

“While everyone is there because they’ve lost someone, how they process grief differs.

“I hope each camper I mentor has a great time on camp, but also takes that positive experience and makes it a permanent mindset after the camp.”

With the support of volunteers like Seb, the Star Bear program has supported around 1,100 children and their families since 2002.

Seb said the program was about more than simply providing a safe environment for children and young people to process their grief – it was also about helping them feel like kids again. 

“While there is a serious side to the camp, the campers are also there to have fun with activities such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and tubing. I’ve done my fair share of running and tiring myself out,” he said with a laugh.

Seb said volunteering at Star Bear had been transformative and encouraged others to give it a go.

“Volunteering has been such a wonderful experience so far,” he said.

“I’ve met so many amazing volunteers who I am lucky enough to call my friends, and it is rewarding to know that I have been able to create a positive experience for the campers.”

From 20-26 May 2024, it is National Volunteer Week – a time to celebrate and recognise the amazing contributions volunteers make to our community. At AnglicareSA, we’re proud to have around 300 volunteers who give their time to support people in need.

AnglicareSA is looking for volunteers like Seb to join the Star Bear program and make a difference in the lives of families experiencing grief and loss. To be a Star Bear volunteer, you do not need to have experienced grief or loss, but you will need some security checks to complete training modules. AnglicareSA will support you in obtaining these.

To register your interest in volunteering or to seek further information, please email [email protected]