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Good Deeds Challenge fundraising for Grief Support Services

Grief Support Services will be running a peer-to-peer Good Deeds Challenge from 9 July to 24 July to raise funds for their organisation.

Participants can choose their 16 good deed task to complete each day from a list of 40 activities – from giving someone a happy note to introducing yourself to a neighbour to getting in touch with an old friend.

“We offer a range of tasks so fundraisers can choose what suits them best. Everyone’s challenge will look a little different so it can really be custom made to suit everyone,” explains Funding Manager, Jen Murray.

The fundraiser runs through the organisations online platform with additional support through social media. Holding it during the school holidays makes it an excellent challenge for the whole family to get involved. Anyone under the age of 18 will require parent/guardian consent to sign up and we reinforce the message that students under the age of 13 should not have their own social media accounts.

“It’s a really simple process to get involved,” says Jen. “Simply sign up online, start telling your connections about your fundraiser then choose your daily task to complete. Sharing your journey with your supporters is a key to success and adds to the fun.”

The service supports families and individuals within the Western Bay of Plenty through grief and loss situations so that those experiencing grief feel more understood and less isolated, become more resilient and are better able to access support. Grief counselling can lessen the risk of depression and suicidal ideation.

As people grow their support systems and tools of resilience they are less likely to turn to drugs, alcohol, self-harm or other unhelpful tools to cope. “There is a flow on effect from counselling as our clients heal, their resilience returns and they become more able to participate in their families, community and workplace”, says Jen.

Grief and loss are not only a response to bereavement but can occur following any loss or unwelcome change. This includes situations such as the break-up of a relationship or marriage, fractured family relationships, financial loss, redundancy, injury or illness of self or of a friend/family member.

“The complexities of coping with grief and loss have definitely been exacerbated due to various circumstances in relation to the pandemic and other national or global situations”, says Janet.

While the organisation cannot share client stories due to their code of ethics, feedback received through their post counselling survey highlights the positive effects that the service provides. As a result of the counselling, clients report such changes as feeling calmer; daily life being more manageable; being better able to participate in family/social/work life; having new skills to help them through difficult times; and being more inclined to speak up for themselves.

“The support and compassion helped immensely to bring me forward to a point of well-being and being happy to be alive again,” says a past client.

Another previous client says, “[The Counsellor] helped me understand my situation and gave me tools to deal with it.”

In their last financial year, philanthropic support contributed to the service providing over 2,400 grief and loss counselling sessions, offering counselling support for over 520 individuals and families/whanau and providing information and support to the community. However, the waiting list that the service operates with continues to grow.

All funds raised through the challenge will support their service to provide subsidised professional grief and loss counselling to those in the Western Bay of Plenty community.

For more information on Grief Support Services or to join the challenge go to
www.griefsupport.org.nz/challenge2022

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