Anam Cara’s annual National Balloon Release took place at the Tullamore Court Hotel and Tullamore Town Park, on November 2, All Souls’ Day, the day when we traditionally remember loved ones who have died.
The charity’s ambassador, broadcaster and mum of eight Miriam O’Callaghan, joined parents from all over the country as 5,000 balloons were released, each balloon dedicated to the memory of sons and daughters who have died throughout Ireland.
This day is unique as it brings together families from all over Ireland for one day in which to remember the child they’ve lost. The event is the launch of Anam Cara’s ‘Month to Remember’, which will continue until the end of November, and includes awareness building and fundraising through the nationwide sale of the Anam Cara Balloon to Remember pin.
Through the sale of these pins in stores nationwide or online at www.anamcara.ie, the organisation will continue to help thousands of parents and families with the devastating death of their child.
To date Anam Cara has helped more than 2,000 families throughout the 32 counties of Ireland. Since 2007, the number of newly bereaved parents in Ireland has increased year on year from 1,574 to a high of 2,118 in 2009 a 35% increase over a three-year period.
For many families if the death of their child was unexpected they can fall outside the realms of bereavement support that could help them through the dark days. The impact of the death of a child, of any age, brings with it an intense grief that lasts far longer than society recognises. Anam Cara understands this grief and parents a little longer further on in their journey reach a hand back to help newly bereaved parents as they embark on their journey of loss.
Bereaved parents travelled from all over Ireland in large numbers to attend the Balloon to Remember release.
Sharon Vard, Anam Cara CEO, said “In an ideal world, we would not need a day like today, but the fact that so many parents have come to Tullamore today to remember their loved ones shows the vital need for Anam Cara in Ireland. This day allows friends and family to demonstrate, both publicly and privately, that we have not forgotten the children who have left us.e.”
Anam Cara is a national voluntary support organisation set up by bereaved parents to support newly bereaved parents throughout Ireland after their loss.
This annual campaign aims to highlight the invaluable and unique support Anam Cara provides bereaved parents as it is parents who have themselves lost a child running almost every aspect of the organisation. For more information on its services please visit www.anamcara.ie or on 085 2888 888.