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 Trainer for N Wales; she is also a Trustee.
Ongoing developments in North Wales have involved building partnership relationships between Health and Education; investment by Education provides a level of coordination and administrative support. In addition to this attention is now being directed to the development of monitoring and evaluation systems in order to ensure quality and validity of the Seasons programmes.
Seasons has also been embedded in the wider structure of bereavement services for Conwy and Denbighshire, and is now attracting attention from the Welsh Assembly Government as a case example of good practice in recent mappings of bereaved services across Wales.
The administrator for North Wales is Bernadette Pittendreigh.
Royal Alexandra Hospital
Telephone 01745 448670