Grieving mothers have lost the help of New Plymouth’s Miscarriage Support Service after more than a decade of serving the city.

The voluntary organisation announced its closure after 13 years this week.

In a public notice the group thanked the Lotteries Commission, COGS and TSB Community Trust for their financial support, along with former members, health professionals, family and friends.

The Daily News was unable to contact volunteers from the organisation but Auckland’s Miscarriage Support Services manager Vonney Allan said many similar groups had closed over the last few years.

“In the last 10 years nine support groups have started up in different places around the country and at least seven have closed,” Ms Allan said.

“Volunteers used to get three or more calls a day from mothers and now they would be lucky if they got three a month.”

She said a comprehensive website with 100 pages of information and advice launched in 2000 and many support groups have folded since.

“The groups started to drop off with the website that gets two million hits a month.

“The conclusion we reached is that people are using the website instead of talking directly to people,” she said.

Hawera Bereaved Parents and Families Support Group volunteer Peter Keller said South Taranaki still has a service.

“The assistance needed has dropped off considerably as we only get one or two calls a year now,” he said.

Volunteering New Plymouth co-ordinator Heather Dodunski said many voluntary support groups are finding times tough at the moment.

“The volunteer numbers tend to fluctuate quite a bit but I sometimes wonder if in small places we get to a saturation point,” she said. “Organisations are starting to become more aware they need to consider volunteers have very busy lives and that needs to be worked around and juggled.”

Mrs Dodunski says it’s harder to find volunteers now than when she started in her role six years ago.

“Costs are rising all the time and they affect volunteers and how much they can commit.

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