On November 14th we celebrated 20 years of supporting children and young people with a very special event at the House of Lords.
We were kindly invited by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe to hold the celebration in the beautiful River Room overlooking the river Thames and London skyline.
Friends, supporters, staff, trustees and service-users came together to reflect on and celebrate the amazing work that is provided by Jigsaw4u year after year.
We began the evening with a special message of support from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan who said ‘As mayor, as a Londoner and as a father, I am deeply grateful for everything that you do for children in our city at their times of greatest need’.
Our guest speaker Sir Keith Ajegbo, Chair of Trustees at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, spoke of the invaluable extra support provided to vulnerable young people by charities like Jigsaw4u that can make a difference between coping and succeeding, or being overwhelmed by their situation. He acknowledged the challenges charities are facing in the current funding climate due to local authority cuts, which makes life increasingly difficult for many families and yet the needs in our communities are growing. Sir Keith praised the work of our volunteers, particularly highlighting our mentoring project and described Jigsaw4u as a ‘wonderful’ and ‘very, very necessary’ charity.
Undoubtedly the stars of the evening were brothers Aaron and Darren who introduced our film ‘Talking to children about death’, and then confidently answered some questions from our guests about their experiences of working with Jigsaw4u. When asked ‘what advice might you give to a young person who was nervous about coming to Jigsaw4u for the first time’ Darren said, ‘there’s not anything to be nervous about as everyone is nice and they help you express your emotions’. Aaron and Darren accessed support through our bereavement project after their Dad died suddenly last year due to a brain hemorrhage.