You’ve helped us provide some light in the darkness for grieving families….
The Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children, Youth, and Families is so grateful for the donation from 100 Women Who Care. The Nightingale Centre is a young organization; we only came into existence in 2019, one year before the pandemic. It was founded because a few individuals who work in mental health services with grieving families, and a few individuals who had experienced significant deaths in their family, recognized the need for a dedicated centre to support the unique needs of grieving children and families. Research has shown us that children grieve differently from adults and these differences are crucial in understanding how to support children through the anticipation, immediate aftermath, and long-term management of a significant death in their lives. Parents and caregivers, who are typically grieving themselves, need guidance in how to support their children through these periods while also supporting themselves through their own grief.
This is where the Nightingale Centre comes in for families of Guelph and Wellington County, and where your donation dollars have made a significant impact for these families.
To begin, your dollars helped fund the spring 2022 programs for the Family Bereavement Program and the Youth Bereavement Program. These programs bring grieving children and adolescents together with trained facilitators and volunteers, over several weeks, to help them identify their feelings related to their grief, give words to their feelings and experiences, and coping methods to manage them, and help them feel less alone and like they are part of a community of others sharing this significant experience. In addition, the parents receive support and guidance in what to expect from their grieving children and youth and how to support them during their own grief journey. Your dollars helped us pay for our facilitators for these groups, amazing women who are incredibly dedicated to the work that Nightingale does and its mission to help these vulnerable families.
Secondly, your donation dollars helped fund the purchase of the therapeutic materials we used with the different groups in the Family Bereavement and Youth Bereavement Programs. While the groups have been online, packages of materials have been put together by the facilitators and distributed to the families prior to the sessions so that they are accessible to the children and adolescents during each session. These materials include art supplies, related readings, and building materials – all with the mind to facilitate activities to help them through their grief journey. In addition, the parents receive information packages about how to continue to support their grieving children. We know that this is a long journey and it’s important that these parents have material to which to refer in the coming months and years following the end of the programs.
We have also used your donation dollars to expand our library of children’s books and other resources that are helpful in opening the discussion of dying, death, and grief with children, and providing parents, caregivers, community support people, and educators, with the words and tools necessary to support these children outside of Nightingale. This furthers our goal of helping our community become more grief literate for our children, so they are supported well beyond specific mental health services, and no longer left out of conversations and experiences that have such a huge impact on their lives.
Our families tell us constantly how grateful they are that we are in place for them. They feel supported with their unique needs and that the programs are a safe place for them to express themselves to compassionate, like-minded individuals. The children find words to explain how they’re feeling to parents, caregivers, friends, and teachers so that they can get their needs met more readily.
The pandemic has been devastating for organizations, especially young charitable ones like the Nightingale Centre. But your donation dollars are helping us to continue our support of these families during dark times in their lives and helps us to help them find some light.
Thank you so much.
The Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children, Youth, and Families