Local lounges came alive with music on Tuesday night as Waihi-based singer/songwriter Sarah Spicer performed at a virtual gala for Tauranga’s Grief Support Services - GSS.
Called ‘Thanks for Not Coming’, the online party was celebrating the end of Level 3 lockdown while supporting GSS.
The Greerton-based non-profit offers subsidised counselling to anyone suffering grief and loss, whether it is loss of a loved one, relationship or a job.
“COVID-19 may have turned our lives upside down, but it hasn’t impacted on the commitment of the Grief Support Service Team to deliver our much-needed service,” says service manager and senior counsellor Janet Baird.
“In fact, this experience of using Zoom for online sessions has added to possible ways we can continue working with people, potentially making GSS even more accessible for those who find transport or mobility a problem.”
Janet anticipates that there will be a high demand for their service as the community enters Level 2. Funding for their effective and necessary service is under threat, as GSS receives much of its funding through foundation grants, many of which were in limbo while waiting out the pandemic.
“In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has put extra stress on the lives of New Zealanders, complicating what might already be difficult or putting people in situations they would not have dreamt of two months ago,” says Janet.
The ‘Thanks for Not Coming’ online party was designed not only to raise money, but also awareness of the valuable mental health service GSS provides. Its counsellors have continued working during lockdown, helping clients via phone and video chat.
Live music from Sarah, who has recently released a new single was very much appreciated by all.
People wanting to donate to Grief Support Services can do so at: www.givealittle.co.nz/donate/org/griefsupp