Compassionate Friends help grieving families
Rotary Prahran heard a moving presentation from bereaved parents Andrew Weatherhead and Wendy Bowler both from Compassionate Friends Victoria on monday 16th May.
Andrew was previously a physiotherapist then his life changed when his son Max died at the age of 26 in March 2009. Andrew became involved with Compassionate Friends and with his public speaking skills; Andrew has turned this tragedy in to a plus by showing other people how to cope with grief & bereavement and how to talk to someone who is in grief.
Compassionate Friends is a mutual assistance self-help organisation offering friendship and understanding and peer support to parents after the death of a child, at any age and from any cause, or siblings after the death of a brother or sister.
The primary purpose is to assist them in the rebuilding of their lives after the death of their child or sibling and to support their efforts to achieve physical, emotional and mental health
The secondary purpose is to provide information and education about bereaved parents and siblings. The objective is to help those in the community, including family, friends, employers, co-workers and professionals, to be supportive.
TCF’s guiding belief is: “We need not walk alone”
By reaching out to bereaved parents, surviving siblings and other family members, The Compassionate Friend aims to:
To support bereaved parents, siblings from those with the ‘lived grief experience’
offer friendship and understanding
promote the positive resolution of parents', siblings grief,
foster the physical, emotional and spiritual growth of all grief-affected people ,
provide a safe, open and friendly environment
provided to all people irrespective of religion, race, economic class or ethnic group
The organization is funded 40% by Government with the remaining 60%raised by volunteers and a important part of their work is ensuring their volunteers are trained to understand grief and to know what to say to someone undergoing grief. Accordingly they have an extensive listening skills course to assist their Volunteers to deal with the grief stricken.
What can we do as a Rotary Club?
Spread the Word, use face book and talk about Compassionate Friends as maybe someday “Someone you know may need their service”
Chairman John thanked both Andrew and Wendy for attending and passing on such important information.