The Seasons For Growth support group is looking for volunteers to join the team.

The group is a grief and loss education programme for children.

Sharon Albrechtsen has been the South Taranaki co-ordinator for three years. She says she joined the group as a way to give back to the community.

"I do enjoy working with children. I firmly believe the children are our country's future and if we can give the young people tools to help them on their journey then that is splendid."


Sharon says Seasons for Growth uses the imagery of the seasons to illustrate the experience of grief.

"Like the seasons, our lives shift and change. Friends come and go, we lose someone we love, parents and families separate. We move to a new place. We experience a natural disaster, illness impacts our life and our family's work life changes."

Sharon says the group aims to strengthen the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people aged six to 18 who are dealing with significant life changes.

"They do this by exploring the impact of change and loss on every-day life, learning new ways to respond to these changes.

"Trained adult Companions facilitate the small group programme, where participants support and learn from each other in age appropriate and engaging activities."

Sharon says young people learn that they are not alone in dealing with the effects of change, loss and grief.

"They build their communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills within a supportive peer group."

The Companions are trained adults who facilitate each Seasons for Growth group.


Sharon says Companions may be school or agency staff, endorsed parent volunteers or other suitable adults.

"The Companions undertake a two-day training workshop and receive accreditation from Good Grief to deliver the programme.

"Good Grief provides Companions with regular opportunities to meet, network and learn throughout the year through newsletters, conferences and the website," she says.

■ Seasons for Growth does not provide counselling or therapy. People wanting to become a Companion can contact Sharon on 0275346067 or email or