NEW A Little Lifetime Foundation Teddy
Each year in Ireland approximately 500 babies die around the time of birth. As a result a large number of parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and friends are bereaved.
Up to 15 years ago, parents who experienced the death of a baby were given no recognition or acknowledgment. Parents coped with unbelievable pain and sadness and only now, years later have the courage to come forward for support.
In recent years there has been a much better realisation of the tragedy it is when a baby dies and the loss that it is for parents, brothers and sisters. Thankfully, there is also a better understanding of this loss by the Medical Profession and in general, parents and families are encouraged to be part of and create precious memories in their baby’s short life.
A Little Lifetime Foundation (formerly Isands) produce and distribute a booklet called A Little Lifetime to all maternity hospitals and units in the country. This booklet has helpful and important information to help and support parents at the time they are told the sad news that their baby has died or is expected to die shortly after birth. If you are a parent reading this who has just been told that your baby is expected to die, then if you have not received a copy of A Little Lifetime, please make sure to ask for one from the Health Care Staff or make contact with A Little Lifetime Foundation and we will make sure you get a copy as soon as possible.
This website offers support and information not only for families facing or coping with this tragedy but also for anyone who comes in contact with these families. It offers some insight into the experience. It gives helpful information that will make a difference to how parents will cope at the time of their baby’s death and offers support for the weeks, months and years that follow.
Hopefully, it will give those accessing information, support and help them to understand that the death of a baby is a huge tragedy and needs to be acknowledged. The feelings and emotions that grief will bring are difficult, intense, sad, scary and can be isolating.
A Little Lifetime Foundation’s aim is to provide information, services and support based on other bereaved parents’ and families’ experiences which can be different but there is a common link that is recognised – the loss of a son or daughter, brother or sister. We hope that this website will also provide information and support to all those working in the Health Care Services and other Services in the community.
Striving for Excellence
Working together for a common goal begins within. We believe that our success as a charity is attributable to the values we live by: honesty; respect for our volunteers, staff, parents, families and others with whom we interact;. Teamwork; excellence, innovation and creativity and shared accountability for both our successes and shortcomings.
A Little Lifetime Foundation is committed to providing best practice with guidance from standards and policies to deliver our support services to everyone who needs them. Our Board of Directors review and amend policies and procedures in keeping with statutory policies and standards to ensure that we deliver an efficient and effective front-line service for parents and families.
“We confirm that our organisation complies with The Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland”
Parent Support Meetings create an unique opportunity for parents to meet other bereaved parents.
We invite Dr. Peter Hanlon, retired Bereavement Therapist, HSE to outline various aspects of grief from his experience of working with families. He also facilitates discussions and gives parents the opportunity to bounce questions or open discussions about some of the new and sometimes scary feelings they may be experiencing. We have had wonderful feedback on the meetings and would like to thank Peter for his input and for travelling all over Ireland which allowed us to offer the same service to all parents.
Following Peters presentation we have an informal chat amongst ourselves. These are facilitated by members of the ALLF Support Team. Parents get the opportunity to chat to other parents which is so helpful and supportive.
Some parents may share their own experience or just listen to other parents telling their story. There is no pressure to talk at all. Very often just listening to others describe how they are feeling or coping can help us to relate to some of the feelings and emotions we may be experiencing but find it difficult to talk about ourselves. Hopefully the meetings create a space where you can say how it really is if you want to.
Peter also provides one to one professional counseling sessions for us and over the past few years this has proved to be invaluable to parents and families.
We are now hosting Dads Only Parent Support Meetings which have been a great development for the charity and the feedback is that they are very worthwhile and beneficial. Our thanks to Pat Egan, a Member of the Support Team and Dad to Liam and Peter for facilitating these meetings.
All our support services are free of charge.
We are also using skype to support parents who can’t make it to meetings or who live abroad.
Over the coming year we are developing the services even more.
If you have any questions or concerns about the meetings do not hesitate to give us a call –
Tel- 01 8829030 or
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
A full list of upcoming meetings can be found here