Each year many thousands of children and young people in New Zealand are significantly affected by traumatic change, loss or grief. These young people are not sick. They are the walking wounded. Left unsupported their potential as people may be significantly diminished and they may well become another “at risk” statistic.

Skylight believes an investment of time and targeted resources can make a huge difference to the lives of these children and of their families.

Skylight is a national not-for-profit charitable trust working to support children, young people and their families who have been affected by change, loss and grief – whatever the cause. The aim is to help them find ways to live with life’s losses, to build on their natural resilience, and to move forward.

Each year, Skylight receives over 4,000 calls about families who are living through tough times and needing support. There may have been a death, a suicide or homicide, a family break up, a new family situation, an accident, moving house, illness, disability, violence, a crime situation, a family member in prison or absent for long periods, or a natural disaster.

Change and loss is a part of life for us all, but for some it can be especially tough. While the issues vary, the common factor in most calls is the concern and distress expressed – emotions that reflect the significant difficulties that many young people, even very young children, experience.

What does Skylight do?

In order to assist family members, friends or agency workers, Skylight provides:

New Zealand’s most extensive specialist National Resource and Information Service on issues of change, loss and grief, especially as they affect children, teens, families and communities.

  • They provide resources for all ages (books, info sheets, games, DVDs etc) for loan and for purchase. Call 0800 299 100 for a free catalogue to be posted to you or check out the resource listings on their website.
  • They also tailor make information packs for different family situations on request from family members or friends, or from others supporting them, including agencies. Call them on 0800 299 100 or email rs@skylight-trust.org.nz to outline your situation and information needs, and let them know your postal address. This is a confidential service.
  • For those doing professional development training or research, contact Skylight for extensive topic information relating to the nature and various experiences of loss and grief.

A website www.skylight.org.nz that features helpful information and articles for teens, families and professionals, as well as online resource purchasing, and updates on Skylight training and upcoming events.

Education and Professional Development Training that’s tailored to the specific learning needs of different groups or agencies. Call 0800 299 100 or email ed@skylight-trust.org.nz with enquiries.

A Counselling and Support Service – this is currently only available in the Wellington/Hutt/Kapiti regions, but they hope to extend this service to other regions in time.

  • In this region, Skylight offers a range of children and teen support groups throughout the year, and also individual child, teen, young adult counselling, or family group counselling.
  • This is a fee based service, but has some flexibility according to income. Call 04 939 6767 to enquire further about counselling or to request a brochure about the counselling service to be sent to you.

How is it funded?

Skylight is a not-for-profit charitable trust funded by sponsorships and donations.

How can I get their help?

You can contact Skylight in the following ways:

How much does it cost?

Some of Skylight’s services are free and some are fee based. Contact Skylight for more information.

Link to the Skylight Website


This website is very easy to use and has lots of helpful information and articles about ways loss and grief can impact on children, teens and families. You can download the articles, order resources to purchase online, contribute your own creative writing or art, and find out more about our services and upcoming events or training.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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