Pictured Above: (l to r) Martina Mullally, Caroline Leamy, Judy Moloney, John Carmody, Kirsteen Laing, Frank Lynch, Philomena Carroll, Bernie Shovlin, Project Leader Larry de Cléir, and Chairperson Tracie Tobin. Paul Collins and Aideen Hanrahan also received their Diplomas but were unable to be at the Graduation Ceremony.
Last week at the Bedford Row Family Project, ten students were presented with the Bedford Row Diploma in Family Support and Crisis Intervention. This was awarded to them following two years of intensive study of diverse methods of assisting families in deep distress due to the affects of imprisonment and related issues such as addiction. This is the second such course in Bedford Row and follows from the very successful 2009-2011 Course.
Over the past 15 years Bedford Row has developed a unique design which has creativity in building trusting relationships with distressed families as its central pillar. This has resulted in many families affected by imprisonment and addiction having a voice to determine the nature and extent of help if and when it is needed at different times during their lives, and using that voice to inform the general direction, policies and practice of the Project.
Committed and motivated people applied, took the plunge, and began this Course in June 2012. The Course had as its aim the augmenting of rich life experiences with formal training in a wide variety of skills focusing on emotional presence and inclusiveness.
The way of responding to and assisting families affected by imprisonment in Bedford Row is informed by many influences, formal and academic, informal life experiences, and anecdotal wisdom from a wide variety of sources and cultures. From the African tribal tradition we are particularly attracted to the saying: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.
In the Limerick context, they interpret this to mean that all our communities have the capacity within them to create the conditions where every child will be brought up in a safe and healthy environment both in their homes and in the community.
It is clear that every village, or community, needs leadership. Bedford Row are confident that the students who received their Diplomas on Friday 10 October will be leaders in the rapidly changing landscape of ‘what works’ in supporting families affected by imprisonment and addiction, and will prove themselves to be wise and effective in this challenging yet very rewarding work.
Subject to acquiring sufficient funding, Bedford Row is committed to repeating this Course with another Year One cohort planned for September 2015.
If you would like more information on the course or about Bedford Row you can find them online here!