Limerick’s Sandra to provide Anchor to bereaved

Limerick’s Sandra to provide Anchor to bereaved

Julie McKenna with Sandra Byrnes and Paige Moloney

A LIMERICK woman who lost her daughter to suicide has set up a support group for other bereaved parents.

Sandra Byrnes, whose 24-year-old daughter Yasmin-Lee Williams took her own life, has founded the group which meets at the Bedford Row Family Support Project in the city.

Named Anchor, or Always Non-judgemental Caring Helping Others, the support group will provide an opportunity for family members to share personal feelings and experiences and coping strategies in a safe non-judgemental environment.

While the first meeting took place last Thursday, Sandra, who hails from St Patrick’s Road, said she wants it to become a monthly meeting, or perhaps even more often.

“I couldn’t save my daughter, she wasn’t for saving. She didn’t want to be rescued. I solemnly believe Yasmin is at peace now. I feel her presence very strongly around me. But if I can save one life, I know I’d be doing something right. And I’m keeping her memory alive,” Sandra told The Leader.

At the heart of the meeting space is a mural with a picture of Yasmin, and all the things she loved in life.

Julie McKenna, who works for homelessness charity Novas, is supporting the group.

“There have been quite a lot of suicides in Limerick in recent times. It’s an issue we’ve had for quite a long number of years. When people are bereaved and go looking for support, they see these gaps in support and services,” Julie explained.

Through the group, Sandra says she hopes participants can learn coping mechanisms from one another.

Larry DeCleir of the family project, who is supporting the group, has been described as a “star” by Sandra, after he supported both her and her daughter in their hours of need.

For more information on the Anchor group, please telephone 061-315332.

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