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A companion is a trained volunteer who will journey with you as you navigate your way after the loss of your loved one. They will provide a safe space, with a confidential listening ear that is without judgment. 
If you wish, we can assign you a companion who will touch base to check in on you at certain times.
They can meet with you for 3 face to face sessions if you choose.

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Meet Our Companions

Merryn Malcolm


My life is inspired by my personal faith, and my active relationship with Jesus through prayer and worship and my aim is to share His love through what I am doing, and how I live. One way I try to do this is to be there for people in need – a listening ear, practical support, or just being a friend when a friend is needed. Through my personal childhood experiences, I have gained empathy and a small
understanding of those who are hurting, this is from my own perspective and through observation of how my parents and grandparents helped and supported people in their communities.
Married to Andrew Malcolm, together we own Kapiti Coast Funeral Home, Kapiti Katering, Trustees and creators of the Loss and Grief Centre.
My hope is that those who come into the Loss and Grief Centre will feel supported and cared for and be equipped a little to be able to take another step.

Tania O’Regan

I have lived on the Kapiti Coast for over 30 years raising my sons here and consider myself a local. I have volunteered in many organisations here in Kapiti and am fulfilled when supporting our community.
My connection to the Loss & Grief Centre started with friendship and an invitation to attend a Christmas function in 2021 after the personal loss of a close friend. I felt an immediate call to support the work and volunteered my time and heart. Our team is made up of counsellors, trustees and committed volunteers.
You will find me at reception supporting our team by looking after any visitors and clients to the Loss & Grief Centre. I am also the Loss & Grief Centre Funding and Centre Administrator.

Ko tau rourou ko taku rourou kia ora ai te iwi.

‘With my large food basket and your large food basket together, the people will be well’.

Chrissy Albiston

I have lived on the Kapiti Coast all my life, it is a very special place close to my heart. I enjoy the outdoors biking, and walking through amazing tracks along the Waikanae River.
My husband and I swim in the sea every day for the challenge and for good health.
I love spending time with my family and wonderful friends. Working for Loss and Grief is extremely rewarding, being involved
With an experienced group of wonderful people.
Being a Companion is an honour to help others from all walks of life, share empathy, compassion, and support, and let people know they are not alone.

Marilyn Jeffery

I have always enjoyed working with people, and my background in Nursing, Counselling, and Celebrant work has equipped me well for working alongside people in grief situations.
I live in Waikanae – my husband and I share five children and 11 grandchildren.
My other passions are music (playing the piano, a brass instrument), gardening, knitting, and walking.
I have been a Companion at the Loss and Grief Centre since it opened, and I find supporting people as they work through the grieving process very rewarding.

Lynne Carmichael

I have recently moved to Kapiti, and after finding out about the important work of the Loss and Grief Centre I volunteered to join the companioning team. 
I’ve come to understand that there is a growing need to support people as they experience their grief journey.
I enjoy meeting people and I have been described as a good listener. I bring both life experience and many years as a social scientist to my work at the centre.

David Irvine

Grace Terry

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