Pictured are Daphne Greene, Greenhills Hotel with Anne English, Phil Mortell and Helen Culhane from the Children’s Grief Centre. Picture: Anthony Sheehan/ilovelimerick
Limerick Shannon Rotary Club Luncheon celebrating 10 years of the Children’s Grief Centre
Limerick Shannon Rotary Club is hosting a charity luncheon on Sunday, November 10 to celebrate 10 years of the Children’s Grief Centre, with proceeds going to the next stage of the Centre’s development. Pursuing a dream is hard work. From humble beginnings, the Children’s Grief Centre has grown steadily over the past ten years. The centre which was set up by Sr. Helen Culhane in 2009 supports approximately 30 children per week in one to one sessions. Having worked for 23 years as a professionally qualified social worker, including 8 years at Milford Care Centre/Hospice, Sr Helen Culhane RSM developed a proposal to pilot a Children’s Grief Project.
During 2008 and 2009, a small group, recruited by Helen, had researched and confirmed the need for such a service in the Mid-West area. With the blessing and support of her religious congregation, the Sisters of Mercy, Helen formally set up the Project on September 14, 2009, in two rooms at Mount St Vincent Convent, O’Connell Avenue, Limerick. By the end of 2009, the conversion of the Mount St Vincent’s rooms into an administrative office and child-friendly workspace was completed. The first 11 children referred to were seen.
In these sessions, children have the opportunity to express their feelings through art, play, stories and most importantly by being listened to. Now this service which provides support to children, young people and their families who are grieving and experiencing a loss through bereavement, separation or divorce are seeking more permanent and sustainable premises for the future.
Pictured at the Limerick Shannon Rotary Club launch of the 10-year celebration of Children’s Grief Centre held at the Greenhills Hotel and Leisure Centre on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. Anthony Sheehan/ilovelimerick
The Children’s Grief Centre is now at the stage of looking to implement 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 accommodate an art room, a theatre room, a volcano room, and a splatter paint room as well as an outdoor play area.
The dream build is based on a Bereavement Support Service in Oregon called the Doughy Centre. Helen visited this centre in July. Plans for a purpose-built CGC have been drawn up, with estimated costs in the region of four million. The Center is very fortunate to have Lisa McVeigh from the Dublin based architectural firm DMVF to assist with the design brief and Liam Doyle of Phelan Doyle Quantity Surveyors who outlined a cost proposal of the new building.
Sr. Helen Culhane said, “The year ahead marks the start of phase one of a planned new campaign to raise funds for our new premises. This dream would not be possible without the involvement and goodwill of the many people who have shared and continue to share the journey with us. Next year is an exciting year for us, as we are going to have a lot of fundraising events to raise €4millon for a new centre. We look forward enthusiastically to the next ten years.”
The Charity Luncheon takes place at Greenhills Hotel, Limerick with Guest speaker Olive Foley and Lorcan Murray from Lyric Fm. There will be a lovely Bubbles reception at 12.30 pm followed by lunch at 1 pm. Tickets are €40 and can be purchased from the Children’s Grief Centre, Limerick Shannon Rotary Club or The Greenhills Hotel.