The Children’s Grief Centre provides a free support service to children and young people aged 4 to 18 years who have experienced a loss through bereavement, separation or divorce. Based in Limerick, the centre provides support to those who need it across the Mid-West region. Read on to find out more about their services.
What Is The Children’s Grief Centre?
The Children’s Grief Centre was founded in 2009 by Sr. Helen Culhane who gives her time as Director of the centre voluntarily. The centre was founded to address a lack of available services for children and young people affected by loss through bereavement, separation or divorce and that remains our primary focus to this day.
Helen; a qualified social worker and psychotherapist works with a small team of one full-time and one part-time support worker and a number of volunteers who are dedicated to providing direct support children and young people affected by grief.
The Children’s Grief Centre aims to deliver better outcomes and often change lives for the better. The service is an early intervention that prevents the need for further high level interventions later in life.
The centre also provides support to parents, community groups, schools, colleges and other professionals by means of free talks, workshops, conferences and advice.
The free support service is available for children and young people aged 4 to 18 who have experienced a loss through bereavement, separation or divorce. It offers a safe space for children to talk and explore their feelings around loss through play, art, sand, stories and other creative means, but most importantly by simply being listened to.
The Children’s Grief Centre Listening & Support Services
The centre offers children who have lost a loved one a ‘listening space’, to help them feel heard. Through talking, they are able to better understand the situation and learn that others share similar experiences.
Through the one-to-one sessions, a bereaved child can start to accept their feelings as normal, can verbalise and address their fears and find a new sense of safety in the world.
Separation & Divorce
The centre helps to support children and young people through parental separation or divorce.
It can be difficult for children to believe that the situation is permanent.They often wish that their parents may re-unite and may spend time thinking about how they can facilitate this. This means the loss is not made real, delaying healthy mourning.
If there are conflicts in the home, a child may not feel it is ‘ok’ to grieve the parent, sometimes children feel that they are somehow to blame for the break-up.
During sessions, children are able to talk freely and openly about these feelings – in a safe environment, without fear of being judged or having to ‘take sides’. Which can help with the healing process.
The Children’s Grief Centre Primary Schools Workshops
The Children’s Grief Centre’s schools workshop coordinator Rebecca Lloyd delivers free Grief and Loss workshops to teachers in Primary Schools in the Mid-West.
Thanks to funding from the Lorna Byrne Children’s Foundation, the centre is currently developing a Bereavement Toolkit for Primary Schools to help them support children with loss through bereavement or family separation.
In addition, their website has a resources section with links to supports and downloads for you to avail of to help in challenging times.
How You Can Get Involved To Help Make A Difference
Over the past 11 years the Children’s Grief Centre has developed into a unique service providing support to children, young people and their families at some of the most difficult times of their life. They support on average 35 children per week and believe that every child has the right to be heard.
Because they are a registered charity, they rely on the generosity and help of the community to bring their unique free service to more families and children so they too can begin the healing process.
This year the Children’s Grief Centre is focused on fundraising for their ‘Building Fund’ as they seek to expand into a larger more permanent home to meet the increased demand for their service.
You can help them in a number of ways including:
- Corporate Partnerships – Choose the Children’s Grief Centre as your Charity Partner for the year.
- Sponsoring, organising, or participating in an event. The Children’s Grief Centre can provide you with T-Shirt, Sponsorship Cards and support you on your fundraising journey.
- Donations – You can donate via our website and help support our Building Fund Project.
- Follow us on social media and share posts with friends, family and work colleagues. Let them know we are there to support them.
For all fundraising and event queries please contact their Fundraising and Events Coordinator Katrina on (087) 4578030 or email: [email protected]
If you or your family need the support of the The Children’s Grief Centre, please do get in touch.