Vol­un­teers needed to help young­sters deal with grief

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Would you like to train as a vol­un­teer group fa­cil­i­ta­tor for Sea­sons for Growth pro­gramme? Sea­sons is a pro­gramme of peer sup­port groups for young peo­ple who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing loss and/or grief through the death or life threat­en­ing ill­ness of a fam­ily mem­ber, the sep­a­ra­tion or divorce of their par­ents, im­pris­on­ment of rel­a­tives or other ma­jor fam­ily changes like long-term place­ment with foster par­ents; mi­gra­tion or other cir­cum­stances.

The pro­gramme, which runs for nine, weekly, one-hour ses­sions dur­ing the school term, is avail­able to young peo­ple aged 5 to 18. They meet in small, ageap­pro­pri­ate groups and work along­side two vol­un­teer adult com­pan­ions who guide the young peo­ple along a struc­tured jour­ney to ex­plore feel­ings and de­velop sus­tain­able cop­ing strate­gies for grief and loss.

It is based on the be­lief that change, loss and grief are a nor­mal and valu­able part of life. The pro­gramme ex­am­ines the im­pact of changes such as death, sep­a­ra­tion, divorce, and nat­u­ral dis­as­ter upon our lives, and ex­plores how we can learn to live with and grow from these ex­pe­ri­ences.

The core in­ten­tions of this pro­gram are the de­vel­op­ment of re­silience and emo­tional lit­er­acy to pro­mote so­cial and emo­tional well­be­ing. The pro­gramme is ed­u­ca­tional in na­ture and does not pro­vide

‘‘Vol­un­teers re­quire a level of skill and ex­pe­ri­ence around lis­ten­ing and un­der­stand­ing as well as en­joy­ing and car­ing about young peo­ple.’’

ther­apy. Peer sup­port is a key el­e­ment of the pro­gramme, and con­fi­den­tial­ity is strongly em­pha­sised.

All vol­un­teers re­quire a level of skill and ex­pe­ri­ence around lis­ten­ing and un­der­stand­ing as well as en­joy­ing and car­ing about young peo­ple; to­gether with be­ing com­mit­ted to child safety. Your abil­ity to be an ac­tive team player will en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ences of ev­ery­one.

Time in­volve­ment dur­ing the nine week pro­gramme would be around two to three hours per week, which in­cludes prepa­ra­tion, time with the young peo­ple and de­brief­ing.

Each vol­un­teer is po­lice checked and is re­quired to un­der­take a train­ing pro­gramme prior to sup­port­ing the young peo­ple. This train­ing, for those in­ter­ested in as­sist­ing with this in­spir­ing pro­gramme, will be held dur­ing the week­end of Septem­ber 16, 17 in New Ply­mouth and is open to vol­un­teers through­out the en­tire Taranaki re­gion as the pro­grammes op­er­ate in New Ply­mouth, North, Cen­tral and South Taranaki.

Train­ing will run from 9am to 5pm both days. If you would like fur­ther in­for­ma­tion then please quickly con­tact Marie at Vol­un­teer­ing New Ply­mouth on (06) 758 8986, or phone/text 027 541 0577 or email co­or­di­na­tor@vol­un­teer­ingnew­ply­mouth.nz so that you can re­ceive more in­for­ma­tion.

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