New loss and grief centre to open


A NEW centre to support those experiencing grief and loss is opening its doors in Invercargill next week, but further funding will be needed to secure the service longterm.
The centre, which had been four years in the making, is a project close to Loss and Grief Centre facilitator Caroline Loo’s heart.
Since announcing plans for the centre many businesses had donated equipment and services, including HW Richardson Group, Metalon South, 360 Logistics and Resene, she said.
‘‘I have been astounded by the generosity of people I don’t know who have captured the vision and want to do their bit to support it.
‘‘Invercargill, where dreams can come true — that is certainly true for us. This wouldn’t have happened if Southland didn’t believe in me and the vision of the committee. I am overwhelmed with gratitude… very humbled by the support.’’
However, the group had only secured sufficient funding to run the centre for about five months, she said.
‘‘We are grateful for the initial funding [from the ILT Foundation], but we are still seeking more financial support to ensure the centre can remain open and provide a full range of services.’’
Mrs Loo and the Southland Loss and Grief Interest Group have combined to set up the centre. Mrs Loo said it aimed to provide longterm early intervention support for those grieving to help them realise what they were experiencing was normal and they were not alone.
‘‘It’s about having a safe place [for people] to come and share their story and not be judged… which is not easy to do in the real world.’’
Services, including a free drop-in facility, were available not only to those bereaved, but also people of all ages experiencing any sort of grief or loss, from losing a job or a marriage breakup to health issues, she said.
For a donation towards operating costs the centre was also available for use by other organisations working in the grief and loss field, Mrs Loo said.
Í Loss and Grief Centre, 49 Tay St, Invercargill. Open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, times to be confirmed. Official opening Tuesday, June 14, 10am. Compassion fatigue workshop led by Skylight Trust chief executive Heather Henare, June 14, noon. Cost $20 per person. RSVP before tomorrow RunningSneakers