Brown Thomas in Limerick asks staff to donate a teddy bear for Children’s Grief Centre

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Brown Thomas in Limerick asks staff to donate a teddy bear for Children’s Grief Centre

Brown Thomas is devoting one of its famous windows – best known for their elaborate Christmas displays - to supporting the Children’s Grief Centre | Picture: Press 22

BROWN THOMAS is making a Teddy Bear appeal for children who might need a big bear hug.

The department store's chosen charity this year is the Children's Grief Centre. Suzie O'Kelly, a counter manager in Brown Thomas, said their charity committee has come up with an idea called the gifting bear.

“We are going to devote one of Limerick's most famous windows over the weekend of Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 where we will be asking the children of the Brown Thomas Limerick team to donate a teddy they no longer need,” said Suzie, from Caherline. The teddies will be placed in the window and there will be a bucket collection for members of the public to donate if they so wish.

After the weekend teddy bears will then be handed over to the Children's Grief Centre and given to boys and girls who may need a hug. On behalf of Brown Thomas' charity committee, Suzie said they were proud to support Children's Grief Centre.

“Sr Helen Culhane, its founder, is an incredible lady. What she has started in Limerick city has helped countless children and teenagers and their families,” said Suzie.

According to the Children's Grief Centre's website, the loss of a loved one is very difficult for children and young people. Death, separation and divorce changes the shape of a family. The team in the Children's Grief Centre provides support, care and an open ear to hear their story. 

“They do not charge a fee for their incredibly valuable service so we want to raise as much money as possible to help support them,” said Suzie. Ninety six per cent of their funding comes from the public.

Brown Thomas’ gesture is perfectly timed as on Friday, June 14, the Children’s Grief Centre is marking its 10th anniversary.

As part of their celebrations they have organised a half-day conference titled Children & Loss on the theme of supporting children through loss following parental separation, divorce or bereavement. 

It takes place in the Millennium Theatre, LIT from 9.30am to 1.30pm. Attendees will be welcomed by Professor Vincent Cunnane, president, LIT. Opening speech by Olive Foley, ambassador to the Children's Grief Centre and Philip Mortell, board of management chair.

Keynote speakers will be Dr Elizabeth Nixon, assistant professor, psychology, Trinity College and Daniel McConnell, political editor, Irish Examiner. Followed by four workshops, open panel discussion, audience questions and closing speech by Dr Niamh Hourigan, sociologist. Tickets available from eventbrite.ie or 061 224627.