Seasons for Growth came to North Wales in 2003 through Fiona Holden, Principal Psychological Therapist for Conwy and Denbighshire, when she was undertaking research into school-based support for bereaved children in 2003. Having discovered Seasons for Growth, Fiona and a colleague, Ann Atkin, trained as Companions in London, February 2003. On returning to Wales, Ann Atkin first ran the research groups.
The results from the research helped secure further investment and, consequently, interest from lead organisations Health and Education. Health took the lead and developed a structure that enabled the programme to be rolled out across schools and community settings. There are now many people trained as Companions, from a range of agencies, who are delivering Season across both counties. In 2007, Fiona Holden became the principal Trainer for England and Wales. Fiona continues to ensure that Seasons for Growth remains embedded within her work with CAMHS and Children’s emotional wellbeing.
In 2019 CAMHS entered in to a collaborative partnership with a Small Children’s Charity called Y Bont, and gradually Y Bont took over the day-to-day administration of Seasons in Wales.
Seasons for Growth currently working in partnership with four local authorities (Gwynedd, Anglesey, Denbigh and Conwy) to promote and develop the use of Seasons for Growth predominately in schools and community centres. This development is supported by funding from each local authority’s Education, Health and Wellbeing services.
This funding has enabled Y Bont to fund two mentors who share a full-time post to support companions. – Llinos Hughes and Claire Owen
As of June 2022, Wales have 313 children and young people’s companions. Many of the companions deliver the programme in Welsh (Tyfu Trwy’r Tymhorau) and the journals will be available in Welsh from Autumn 2022.