On the second day of the TCF Gathering of bereaved parents and siblings in Northamptonshire from 7-9 October, we held a moving remembrance candle lighting event. Some lovely words - in the form of short readings and poems - gave comfort as we viewed the names of the precious children we have lost and each of us lit a candle to remember and honour each son or daughter, brother or sister.
We were also fortunate to finish this emotional ,but lovely, event by welcoming our guest speaker, Professor David Mosse. David lost his beloved son, Jake, to suicide in 2010. With powerful, heartfelt and searing honesty, he spoke to us about the shock, confusion and indescribable pain of recent bereavement, the journey of loss as well as sources of strength and the power of sharing. He talked of 'one reality ending that day and another reality beginning' and of the urgent, overwhelming question 'why' - a question which ultimately is unanswerable. Like for many others, his son's suicide has set him on a lifelong search for understanding. David likened his grief for his son as like a 40 foot container crashing into his house - at first he thought he could take it away, but gradually came to realise that it would never go away and that he would have to continue walking 'around it'... He talked of joining a bereavement support group - and here found witnesses to his pain and his story as well as understanding - and how much he learnt from others talking about their sons and daughters, their grief and anguish. He stressed that his bereavement journey had gained strength from interrelating and intersecting with others who had suffered a similar loss. He spoke of finding - by talking with others - new ways of expressing and thinking about his tragedy, which in turn helped him to cope better. He finished with a few words about finding a future after such a devastating loss. That knowing the worst can happen brought for him an awareness of the fragility of life and therefore more compassion and understanding of others. It was a powerful session which spoke to all the bereaved parents and siblings there.
Earlier this year nominations were invited by 9th September 2016 for elections to the Board of Trustees of The Compassionate Friends, UK (TCF). There will be 7 vacancies on the Board of Trustees from 6th December 2016. Four nominations were received by the deadline, two from existing elected Trustees – Margaret Brearley and Gina Claye – and two from existing co-opted Trustees – Andrew Miller and Maria Ahern. According to our Arts and Mems (2008), there will not be a vote by TCF donating members, as these nominees are deemed elected, since there are more vacancies than nominations.
Full details, including biographies, of the above newly re-elected and elected Trustees, together with a list of all current Trustees, will be sent to all donating members of TCF in mid October 2016, and a formal announcement will be made at the Annual General Meeting on 5th November 2016 at the Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London.
If you have any questions, please contact our current Chair of Trustees, Margaret Brearley or Company Secretary, Marie Ahern, via the National Office on 0345 1203785 or email@example.com.
This month we launched our new look publications...
Compassion, our supportive magazine for bereaved parents, written by bereaved parents....and TCF News, our charity newsletter with articles and features covering fundraising, events and other news going on in charity.
To receive these publications on a regular basis, JOIN TCF as a donating member and they will be sent to you every quarter.
You can view both new-look publications online here:
Our charity is expanding and we have two exciting opportunities for some exceptional individuals to join our small team of staff in our National Office, based in London.
We are recruiting for a Volunteer Coordinator who will work with our regional coordinators (also volunteers themselves) and other key pastoral staff and members of our charity to organise the recruitment, screening, induction, training and ongoing development and support of our national volunteer team.
We are also seeking an experienced and highly motivated Fundraiser to develop and implement a fundraising strategy at The Compassionate Friends. This is a new position and we are looking for someone who can bring initiative, creativity and enthusiasm to engaging with donors and inspiring both new and existing members of The Compassionate Friends community.
Would you be interested in a rewarding and fulfilling role as a Trustee of The Compassionate Friends? If so, our Board of Trustees would like to invite you to apply to fill vacancies on the Board.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the charity and as such works in a similar way to a company board of directors, in as much as each trustee takes on an area of responsibility for the benefit of the charity.
The Board would be particularly assisted by individuals with skills and experience in areas such as but not limited to Charity/Company Law, Managing Charity Finances, Information Technology, Fundraising, Training and Events Management, Volunteer Management, Public Relations and Public Speaking, Human Resources, or with other skills and experience which could be of benefit to the work of TCF. This is not an exhaustive list and you may have other skills that would benefit the charity. Being a charity Trustee is a challenging, but rewarding, role and we always look forward to welcoming new people to the Board. Typically, the amount of time that a board member might be prepared to devote to TCF would be approximately 5 hours per week.