Northstar Family Support Project Annual commemoration of hope – Members of the Northstar Family Support Project working group working on this year’s theme project. Picture courtesy Northstar Family Support Project.
Northstar Family Support Project held their Eighth Annual Service of Commemoration and Hope on Thursday, October 20 in the Augustinian Church, O’Connell Street.
This unique event has been organised by Northstar Family Support Project to remember loved ones across our communities who have been lost through drug and alcohol misuse. Continuing on with that thought the intention was to support and offer hope and encouragement to the families left behind, those who are in recovery or presently engaged in active drug use.
‘Destination Hope: A Journey for Life’ is this year’s theme which embodies the idea that throughout the path of life, which can at times be unclear and uncertain, hope is a constant and it is always achievable. Hope is very vibrant and present within Limerick. It reverberates throughout our city. This communal trust in hope has the power to inspire and instil a strong belief that dark and turbulent times can be overcome. Hope can help to heal the pain and pave the way for a better future.
“The theme came from a group in Northstar, project participants, they come together each year to work on it, they are the working group around the service of hope,” said Caroline O’Donoghue, Development Worker at Northstar. Caroline added, “We do work with families affected by addiction, but the idea is you hold on to hope, there is a light in the dark, there is always something to strive for, things can get better.”
On the night community members came forward to share their personal stories and reflections which was a very comforting, hopeful and inspirational element. Many stories spoke of the importance of forgiveness and the help and support people have received from the people around them at foundations such as Northstar.
The theme is portrayed via songs, music and poetry and this year Northstar participants made very special contributions through the mediums of drama and song.
A focal point for the service was a beautiful quilt handmade by a working group comprising of Northstar participants under the creative guidance of Martina Tuite. This piece of work began back in January and incorporates personal messages of hope and remembrance which were collected from various services and groups around the city.
“The group came up with the idea of a train. Life is like a train journey, we have lots of stops, when you get the support your destination is Hope. The working group got together from different communities and made a train on the blanket, it is really beautiful,” said Sarah Butler, a member of the project Steering Group and Drug Education & Prevention Strategy.