New resource pack hopes to help newly bereaved parents

By Mary Dennehy

A RESOURCE pack that aims to support newly bereaved parents was officially launched in Tallaght on Tuesday.

Created by Anam Cara, the national charity that provides support services to bereaved parents and families, the resource pack contains specific information on what helped other bereaved parents to get through the first weeks and months of bereavement – with the information written by bereaved parents for bereaved parents.

Anam Cara resource pack launch 3 

According to Anam Cara 5,000 families will be affected by the death of a child over the next two years and, with that figure in mind, the national voluntary support organisation has produced 10,000 resource packs – with support from Applegreen Service Stations.

The packs were this week launched in Tallaght’s Maldron Hotel, with the event being attended by professionals who would come into contact with bereaved parents. These professionals include chaplains, social workers, funeral directors, priests, An Garda Siochana, the Defence Forces, HR managers, palliative care teams and nurses.

There are seven booklets in the resource pack, which, aimed at supporting parents and siblings in a newly bereaved, includes A Dad’s Grief, A Mum’s Grief, Adult Siblings, Coping with the Sudden Death of My Child, Milestones and Challenges, Self-Care and Supporting My Family.

Sharon Vard, CEO of Anam Cara, said: “It is so important to ensure that any parent who is suffering the terrible and unimaginable ordeal of losing a child knows that Anam Cara is here to help.

“Our packs are a powerful resource for any family experiencing the death of a child, irrespective of whether the child was a baby or a grown adult.”

She added: “Newly bereaved parents need others to put this information into their hands at the earliest stage of their bereavement journey.

“They are very fragile in the first few months and may not have the energy to pick up the phone or actively look for help.

“Newly bereaved parents and families need the support of those who have suffered a similar experience and learned to cope again, they need reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that they too will be able to emerge from the depths of despair and start living and enjoying life again.”

Founded in 2008, Anam Cara meets every month in Dominic’s Community Centre, Avonbeg Gardens, and provides bereaved parents from across south Dublin, north Wicklow and east Kildare a safe and comfortable setting where they can connect with other bereaved parents who understand.

Anam Cara is urging all frontline professionals who come into contact with newly bereaved parents to get in touch and request a delivery of free resource packs.

Packs can be requested by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling Anam Cara at 404 5378. 
The free information packs can also be downloaded from anamcara.ie/resources/coping-with-grief/bereaved-parents/ =. 

There are also videos available on Anam Cara’s YouTube Channel.

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