Limerick’s Children’s Grief Centre named National Lottery Good Cause of Year

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Sr Helen Culhane, middle, of the Children’s Grief Centre, receiving the overall Good Cause of the Year Award from the National Lottery

Sr Helen Culhane, middle, of the Children’s Grief Centre, receiving the overall Good Cause of the Year Award from the National Lottery

THE Children’s Grief Centre in Limerick has won the National Lottery Good Cause of the Year award.

The charity, founded in 2009 by Sr Helen Culhane and which which supports children who suffer loss from bereavement, divorce or separation, won the overall award at an awards ceremony in Dublin this Saturday night.

The Children’s Grief Centre scooped the overall National Lottery Good Causes Award 2018 and the Youth Category at the gala event.

Presenting the award, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, said: “Loss, whether through death, separation or divorce, can be devastating, especially for the young. This award goes to a dedicated voluntary organisation which provides comfort and support to grieving children. Its committed volunteers work tirelessly all year round to provide an oasis of calm for those who have lost loved ones, helping them find their voice.

“Community is at the heart of all we do in Ireland and the inspiring National Lottery Good Causes Awards finalists have excelled in their use of Good Causes funds to benefit their localities and the wider society. Good Causes funding has helped us build a better Ireland and has given communities opportunities they would not have had otherwise.”

Sr Helen Culhane of the Children’s Grief Centre said: “We are overjoyed to receive this reward. Children often find it difficult to express their feelings through language so by providing them with clay and paint, sand and crayons, we allow them to choose their own form of expression. The impact of this work with children is incredible. As a result of attending the Children's Grief Centre it has been shown that children are happier, more calm, and have less feelings of anger, guilt and sadness.”

The centre won €25,000 for the award, plus an additional €10,000 for its category win.

Located on the South Circular Road, it is a free and voluntary organisation that supports children between the ages of four and 18 where parents have separated, divorced or where there has been a bereavement.

Since it started it has provided a space and place for around 1,000 children to explore their experiences of loss associated with bereavement and parental separation.

Sr Helen won the 2017 Limerick Person of the Year award for her work with the charity.

Groups from Counties Offaly, Waterford, Dublin, Leitrim, and Wicklow also scooped top honours at the inaugural National Lottery Good Causes Awards.