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Skylight Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

News Release 1 December 2008


Skylight Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

Skylight, the national charitable trust that supports children and young people who experience change, loss, trauma and grief, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Skylight’s chief executive Mrs Bice Awan says, “Skylight was founded 10 years ago in Wellington to provide much needed support for children, young people and their families/whanau who find it tough coping with loss and grief.

“Ten years later we support over 5,000 people directly each year across the country, and many more through the programmes we provide in partnership with professionals, community groups and government agencies.”

While each situation is unique, the circumstances that prompt calls to Skylight commonly include suicide, death, illness, disability, family break up, accidents, violence and trauma.

Skylight helps young people to find ways to cope and live with life’s losses, regardless of the cause, and to build on their natural resilience to move forward.

Skylight maintains the most extensive specialist National Resource and Information Service in the country on loss and grief. Their resource centre includes books, information sheets, DVDs and videos, games and other activities for children. These resources can be borrowed nationwide, and many of them can be purchased on their website www.skylight.org.nz or by calling 0800 299 100.

Many of the resources have been developed by Skylight, including their invaluable initiative, the Anger Toolbox. This is a handbook for parents and carers supporting children and teens through angry times. Anger is a common response to experiencing loss or grief and this practical resource provides a range of anger management options for families and quotes from parents. It has received outstanding feedback and endorsement from national agencies, community groups and families alike.

The organisation provides specialist counselling in Wellington, Porirua and Lower Hutt and nationally runs a school-based strength building programme for year 9 students, provides professional development training and has a vast array of resources and information to meet the needs of hurting young people of all ages.

“Our 10th anniversary is an opportunity to acknowledge all those who have contributed to the establishment of Skylight, one of whom was Wellington’s Mayor Kerry Prendergast. We also thank our sponsors and the charitable trusts that enabled us to expand our service and extend our reach,” says Bice Awan.

“We look forward to continuing to help even more people throughout New Zealand in the years to come whose lives are impacted by trauma, loss and grief.”

ENDS


Page 3: A Backgrounder on Skylight

December 2008
Skylight
Background Information

Skylight is a national, not-for-profit charitable trust that provides support for children, young people and their families/whānau through change, loss, trauma and grief - regardless of its cause.
Established in Wellington in 1998, Skylight helps some 5,000 people throughout the country each year. Skylight provides:
• The most extensive specialist National Resource and Information Service in New Zealand on loss, trauma and grief – specialist books and support resources, DVDs and games are all available to borrow or purchase. The website www.skylight.org.nz also offers helpful downloadable articles, activities and helpful links.
• Specialist Counselling and Support for individuals, groups and families. A variety of children’s support groups, an adult bereaved by suicide support group, and individual and family group counselling is available.
• Professional Training and Development for those who work to support grieving children, young people and their families/whānau. Courses are offered throughout New Zealand to meet the needs of different professional, community groups and agencies.
• Advocacy to enhance awareness and understanding of the impact of change, loss, trauma and grief on society
• The Travellers Programme - an innovative small group programme for students in their first year of secondary school. Developed by Skylight, Travellers enables young teens to build their resilience and to learn skills to cope with life’s knock backs and challenges. See www.travellers.org.nz
While each situation is unique, people contacting Skylight are seeking support for difficult life issues, including death, suicide, illness, disability, accidents, family break up or other family changes, trauma, difficult relationships and violence.

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