The many faces of grief were explored in a workshop for Community Visitor Scheme volunteers and pastoral carers on July 24 at the Merimbula Uniting Church.
Twenty-two volunteers came from Pambula, Merimbula, Eden and Bega to attend the workshop facilitated by Reverend Jean Shannon of the Uniting Church Sapphire Coast, which runs the Community Visitor Scheme locally.
Community and pastoral support people deal with other people's grief all the time. The workshop was designed to help people know what to say and even more importantly, what not to say when talking with someone in grief. It also gave some clues in recognising growth and change and also our own feelings and reactions in a conversation.
The workshop built on the introductory Seasons for Growth workshop led by Reverend John Blair early in the year.
The new workshop refreshed participant's knowledge on grief characteristics; defined different types of grief and learned new ways to companion others. The workshop stressed that it doesn't help to try and make 'things better'; what helps is being available to listen.
The facilitator stressed that this workshop was not designed as grief therapy but rather was a skills-based program for volunteers. Grief therapists are available through several psychological services in the Bega Valley.
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) arranges volunteer visits to older people to provide friendship and companionship.
Visits are available to anyone receiving government-subsidised residential aged care or home care packages. For more information contact Greg Wollaston, coordinator, CVS Sapphire: email@example.com