The Children’s Grief Centre was founded in 2009 by, Sister Helen Culhane, together with a support group of professionals. As a Sister of Mercy. a qualified social worker and psychotherapist, Helen worked with people who were struggling with issues relating to death, bereavement and palliative care. This included time spent at Milford Care Centre.
Helen’s experience meant she developed a clear understanding of the needs of children and young people who were experiencing loss. She recognised that there was a lack of services and support for children and young people who were affected by the death of a loved one. Helen also saw there was an increasing need for support of children and young people who suffer loss due to separation or divorce of parents.
Helen’s vision was that the Centre would provide children and young people with a listening ear.
The Children’s Grief Centre is a support service for school-aged children and young people affected by loss through death, separation or divorce. It provides a safe and supportive place for children and young people and their families who are grieving. The service is provided by trained and experienced people.
Does Your Child Need to Talk?
After a death or family separation, one of the things many children feel the need to do is share their story. One of the ways an adult can help a child through this emotional time is simply to LISTEN. Of course they don’t always make this known, so watching for the signs is key. Your child may benefit from support if he or she:
-displays sadness that doesn’t seem to lift.
-shows signs of changes in attitude or behaviour.
-is angry and expresses rage or defiance.
-is withdrawn and appears to be lonely.
-has nightmares or sudden fears.
-is confused about what has happened.
How Your Child Benefits
Children are able to open up to an objective, neutral person.
Children feel heard and understood.
Children who share their stories gain a renewed sense of self-value.
By ‘getting their words out’ and verbalising what they are feeling, children start to make sense of what they are going through and feel more in control.
Children feel less anxious and worried.
THE DREAM BUILD
Over the last 10 years the Children’s Grief centre has grown steadily but is now at the stage of looking to implement a more permanent and sustainable premises for the future. As well as improving the physical size of the building, new plans will create a more stimulating environment for children and young people. The New centre will accommodateand art room, a theatre room, a volcano room and a splatter paint room as well as an outdoor play area.
The new building will allow the centre to grow and expand and continue to support children, young people, parents, organisations and communities affected by loss.