Seasons for Growth programmes are educative programmes designed to assist children, young people, and adults to process the effects of grief, loss and change and to develop skills that build resilience and wellbeing.
The familiar metaphor of the four seasons illustrates the cyclical nature of grief and is based on the belief that change and loss are a part of life, and grief is a normal response to these losses.
Peer support is a key element of the programme and participants are encouraged to share their experiences and learn from one another. Age-appropriate groups are available for children and teenagers aged between 6 and 18 years of age either in school or after school in community venues. In some areas, groups are also available for adults.
Trained volunteers called Companions facilitate these small peer support groups, providing a framework and safe space for participants to explore their experiences of grief while developing new skills which helps restore self-esteem and self-confidence. Confidentiality is strongly emphasised.
Seasons for Growth respects all cultural and spiritual beliefs.
I have learned how to cope with emotions. (Child)
I have learned that the emotions I feel when I have lost a loved one are exactly how others feel and that I am not alone. (Teenager)
I have been helped to understand the grief I am going through and to realise that there is hope for the future. The Companions were kind, caring and compassionate. (Adult)
I think this programme is well thought out and allows room for each Companion’s personality to shine through as well. (Companion)
The role of a Companion is critical to the Seasons for Growth process. An effective Seasons for Growth Companion is a person who:
Our Seasons for Growth Trainer runs two-day training workshops for Companions several times a year. If you are interested in becoming a Companion, please contact the Seasons for Growth Diocesan Coordinator at