50th Anniversary Commemorative edition of Compassion and TCF News
Includes articles and features from the last 50 years and from our charity’s founders...plus a walk down memory lane in a timeline from the start of ‘The Society of The Compassionate Friends’ in 1969 to the present day.
This keepsake edition has been mailed to all donating members so if you would like a copy - and you are not already a donating member - please do join here
Maria Ahern, The Compassionate Friends Chair of Trustees writes...
It is with great sorrow that I write to tell you that Joan Henderson passed away, peacefully, on the 3rd June in her 90th year.
Joan's funeral is on Tuesday 11th June at 12 midday at South Church, Stonehaven, in Scotland. There will be private cremation thereafter.
Most of you will know that Joan was one of the very small group who formed this Charity 50 years ago and it is through her courage, compassion and vision that we are able to offer comfort and solace to those who have suffered the worst loss imaginable.
I did not have the honour of meeting Joan but I have had cause to reflect often on the strength it must have taken to embark on the creation of this organisation. I have been full of admiration for her fortitude and strength.
The weekend of 18th May saw 40 bereaved siblings coming together in the
beautiful surroundings of Woodbrooke in Birmingham for The Compassionate Friends overnight retreat for brothers and sisters who had experienced the loss of a sibling early in their adult lives. There was some remarkable feedback from the weekend and we wanted to share some of this with you.
“I loved watching the groups bonding, sharing and caring for each other. There were of course many tears, but likewise laughter and hugging. In particular, I felt that many of the younger participants gelled together so well and shared their stories and supported one another in every way. It was so lovely to see”.
“This weekend I attended my second sibling bereavement retreat with The Compassionate Friends. It’s an amazing charity which offers support to bereaved families. I’ve met so many inspiring people through these events and they’ve helped me to deal with the loss of my brother and my grief.”
“I just wanted to say what a special weekend the sibling retreat was for me and to thank everyone who was there and a part of it. I know there are people who were at Woodbrooke who are not on Facebook but for those of you who do read this I want you to know you have helped me”.
Some lovely words of feedback from the Scottish Gathering of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparent in the first weekend in May 2019 in Perthshire - the theme of the weekend was 'A New Path'.
"I met the most incredible people at the first timers' meeting- we cried, we shared and we came together to remember our beautiful children and loved ones....On Saturday morning...our inspirational speaker, Michael Angus, shared so passionately about his dear son Christopher - we all cope with our loss differently and Michael's way was by trekking round the world raising thousands of pounds for a Children’s Hospital in Glasgow...Discussion groups and craft workshops followed.
In the afternoon we were off to our Compassionate Friends' memorial garden in Perth to plant our new tree to commemorate the fiftieth year of our charity. A poem written by Betty Madill was beautifully read by Marion Cameron and we then lovingly placed our ribbons and hearts for our loved ones on the already established Rowan Tree. Finally wewere treated to cake, tea and coffee organised by the dedicated volunteers from Beautiful Perth. They have given us the most beautiful place to remember our children, our grandchildren, our brothers and sisters no matter where in the world you come from....It would be impossible for me to fully put into words what happened over this weekend but I know when I left on Sunday I was taking home with me the most beautiful memories to last a lifetime of the most wonderful people I met over just a few days".
It's Compassionate Friends Jubilee Year! To commemorate, throughout 2019 we are asking members and supporters of our charity to host an event - a coffee morning, bake sale, bring and share lunch - to raise funds for us so that we can continue our vital support for bereaved parents and families.
We're calling it Tea & Cake at Fifty! And you'll find 4 easy steps to planning your event at the download below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you our fundraising leaflet with lots of great ideas.
Download our Tea & Cake at Fifty leaflet here, and help us to continue to provide support, understanding, friendship and hope to bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents.