What our volunteer means to us

Written by Christian & Amanda Ritchie, parents supported by Very Special Kids

Since meeting just over three years ago, Kennedy and Lauren have forged a relationship that extends far beyond what was expected.

At the time Kennedy, an 8 year old bereaved sibling of Avah’s and Lauren, a 20 something new volunteer to Very Special Kids, had little in common apart from a few obvious traits.

Quickly, the two have developed a strong bond where Kennedy now fondly sees Lauren as an older sister, and more importantly, a positive role model.

Getting to know each other further through countless games of Hide and Seek, not so glamorous fashion parades, the construction of indoor blanket cubby houses, and the production of child directed iMovies, the pair have evolved into very good friends that enjoy the company of each other. Now much more comfortable together, it is not uncommon for Lauren and Kennedy to spend time at the beach in Summer or on pocket money spending, shopping expeditions.

It is not only Kennedy who looks forward to Lauren’s regular visits, we both also welcome the arrival of the Very Special Kids volunteer. This time allows an opportunity for us to take a step back from the delicate balance of being both a parent and a proxy sibling to our now only child. It also provides us with the chance to see how Kennedy would have interacted with her younger sister Avah, were she still alive.

Lauren is now seen as an extended member of the family by all of us, who is having an extremely valuable and positive impact on the way that Kennedy is developing into her teenage years whilst dealing with challenges of being a bereaved sibling.

We are forever grateful for the Very Special Kids Family Volunteer program, and the foreseeable life long bond that Lauren and Kennedy have.

kennedy w vol