Support services starting in central Southland

Grief and Loss Centre director Caroline Loo (right) in one of the office spaces.

A loss and grief support service is being established in Winton to provide a safe, trusted space for anybody who needs to talk.

The Loss and Grief Centre, with a main office in Invercargill, will start its services in Winton on Friday, June 8, with free drop-in sessions on the first and third Friday of each month.

Centre director Caroline Loo said the trust had a goal of branching into rural communities.

Mrs Loo said it was around late April that she was able to secure a space at Southern REAP where they would run the drop-in sessions. She would be there for the first sessions after which three staff members would take turns coming to Winton.

No appointments were needed; people should feel free to stop by on their own time, making them more relaxed, she said.

"The best support sometimes is people just want to come and have a chat with someone outside their family network. We're there just to be that base, a safe, trusted place."

The Grief and Loss Centre is open for five days a week in Invercargill, while a Gore space is open once a week. Mrs Loo said they would be open to expanding to other communities if needed.

Mrs Loo said the talking out problems could help, particularly for farmers in the current rural climate.

The sessions weren't just for grief from bereavement loss, but could also be for separation, long term illness, isolation or a big life change.

There would also be information, resources and handouts available should a friend stop by to get something for a friend in need.

The free sessions will be held held at 224 Great North Road, Winton from 10am till 2pm. For further information visit, or contact Caroline Loo via or 027-443-8788.


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