Program for Grieving Children, Teens seeks new volunteers

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LEWISTON – The Program for Grieving Children and Teens is announcing its next seven-session volunteer training for individuals interested in being part of the team for sessions offered in Auburn, Farmington and Mexico.

Training will begin Tuesday, Aug. 14. The training includes two Saturday sessions on Aug. 18 and 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and five evening sessions on Aug. 14, 16, 21, 23 and 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Classes will be held at the agency’s main office, 15 Strawberry Ave.

The training is free and is designed to prepare participants in volunteer work with grieving children and their families. The course is comprehensive, exploring a range of topics, including the understanding of grief and its stages, how individuals of varying ages process grief, the use of age-appropriate activities and the safe expression of anger and other emotions.

Co-sponsored by Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Franklin Community Health Network, the Program for Grieving Children and Teens provides nontherapeutic peer-to-peer support for families who have lost a loved one to death.

In group settings, children and their facilitator embark on individual journeys, exploring their grief through games, activities, art and other forms of self-expression. Accompanying adults also meet during that time to support each other and discuss ways for supporting their families’ needs. Volunteer opportunities include facilitating groups for children or adults, greeting or interviewing families, community outreach and office support.

Due to the nature of the work, candidates must participate in an interviewing process and must not have suffered a loss in their own lives in the last year. Anyone interested in additional information, a training schedule or an application may contact Joan Spitzform, bereavement assistant, at 777-7740, ext. 1460.

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