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Judy Bailey Supports NZ’s Grieving Children

Waiapu Anglican Social Services Trust Board

MEDIA RELEASE

18 February 2008


Judy Bailey Supports New Zealand’s Grieving Children

Judy Bailey, champion for the well being of children, has become the National Patron of the Seasons™ Programme.

The Seasons Programme is for children and young people who are missing someone significant due to the death of a loved one, separation of parents, a family member being in prison or other major family change.

Judy, a well known television presenter, says it is an issue of social justice and equity to see children supported when grieving.

"Adults can receive government funded counselling during family break up - children don’t get that. Support for children at others times of loss can be difficult to access, it depends on others recognizing there is a need.

“The grief of children is often not acknowledged and its impact often underestimated. Short term this may leave them unhappy, confused and vulnerable – long term there is a cost to the individual, their families, relationships and ultimately to society,” she says.

Judy describes the Seasons Programme as a wonderful resource for children and their families. She understands that those who have been through the course say it has made a real difference in their lives.

The National Coordinator of this Anglican Social Service, Carol Goldie-Anderson, says Seasons is highly effective in its approach. “The focus is on peer support and really listening to children. Parents tell us children coming to Seasons are happier, more confident, more affectionate, express themselves better and are more settled at school. Children say they like Seasons – a lot. They are so glad to talk with others and be listened to.

“Seasons has supported thousands of children over the past 10 years. It’s a vital service to have available. We want to see it better known and more accessible to more children. To do this we need greater awareness of the issues, more funding and to attract more volunteers to train in this work,” she says.

Carol believes Judy’s involvement will be key to raising awareness about grief and the need for support that grieving children have.

Available for young people between 5 and 18, the Seasons programme respects all cultural and spiritual beliefs. Waiapu Anglican Social Services Trust Board chief executive officer Liz Andrews says the programme honours and responds to children’s grief. She says Waiapu Anglican Social Services – which oversee the Seasons programme nationally – remain proud to support this service to children and are humbled by Judy Bailey’s decision to take on the role of patron.

Seasons is widely available in the North Island and its availability is growing nationally


ENDS

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