Get Together – Bereaved Families Discovering is a community where families who have experienced the death of a parent or child/sibling can come together for free activity days and residentials. As 11-year-old Murphy put it,
“We came to Get Together because it’s an interesting chance to meet new people like us, who know how we feel and what we’ve been through. It helps you overcome your shadows.”
Get Together is a 5-year partnership project between Cruse Bereavement Care and Corrymeela Community, supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Since it started in October 2014, thirty-nine families have connected with one another through activity days, residentials at Corrymeela, and working together to educate the community on the needs of bereaved families.
A statement we hear over and over again from children and parents alike is: “Now I don’t feel so alone anymore, ‘cause I realise I’m not the only one.” Reducing isolation, increasing confidence and resilience, raising community awareness—that’s what Get Together is all about. If you want to hear more check our our videos.
If you are a bereaved family and you want to get involved in Get Together, contact Elaine.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch more films of our Get Together residential weekends.
Get Together Kids Help Celebrate our Patron’s Birthday
On Sunday, 12th June 2016, The Mall in St James’s Parkwas transformed for its largest ever street party to celebrate the Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organisations, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.
Twelve-year-old Murphy McDade-Moore (pictured far left with some of his new Get Together friends) was there with his mother Kelly-Ann at a top table on The Mall, representing Get Together. In 2014, this project between Cruse and Corrymeela Community was awarded a five-year grant by the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out: Supporting Families programme to help 50 bereaved families to support each other through activity days and residentials. Murphy and his mother joined five other parentally bereaved families for Get Together’s first “Roots & Wings” residential in Corrymeela last July.
Using the video diary room that was open all during the weekend, Murphy explained what it means to him to be involved with Cruse:
“I’m about to tell you something I don’t like to talk about,” Murphy said. “My dad passed away when I was 7 . . . but I started coming to here, and now I feel like I’m not the only one. I’m not even joking, I’ve made about 100 new friends in the last two months. . . . “
Cruse was chosen as a Patron’s Hero, and was therefore one of a few charities to have our work showcased in a short film featuring NI Cruse Youth Advisory Group volunteer Patrick O’Hare and Chief Executive Debbie Kerslake. Three other Cruse Youth Advisory Group members from NI also attended the Patron’s lunch, sharing their own stories of grief and hope and celebrating together Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
On 17-19 June, Get Together will run its third “Roots & Wings” residential with ten brave families and 15 Cruse and Corrymeela volunteers. Families who have suffered the death of a child/sibling will be able to join Get Together at our activity day on 10th September, 2016, with the first residential taking place in November.
For more information about Get Together, contact Elaine Roub, Young Cruse Coordinator, at 028 90 792 419 or 07951 348168 or Elaine.email@example.com
New identity, new year
Families Learning Together has changed its name to Get Together – Bereaved Families Discovering.
The name change came about through a workshop with children and parents who had been involved in our first activity days and residentials. 11-year-old Murphy put it best when he described his experience of the project:
“We came to Get Together because it’s an interesting chance to meet new people like us, who know how we feel and what we have been through. It helps you overcome your shadows.”
With the help of Journeyfor, a Belfast-based creative agency specialising in film and brand, our new identity emerged. So here we are, about to start our second year with 12 new families joining us. To learn more or get involved with Get Together please contact Young Cruse Coordinator Elaine.Roub@cruse.org.uk or 02890-792419.
About Get Together
Get Together - Bereaved Families Discovering is a project designed to help and support families through the trauma of bereavement. This partnership project between Corrymeela and Cruse Bereavement Care in NI began in October 2014, with the first family activity day for nine families on 14th March.
Get Together offers free activity days and residentials for bereaved families, giving them the chance to face their own grief, but also to support other families and to help educate the community.
At the same time, parents and volunteers can gain confidence in supporting children as they share their experiences and get to know each other. Learning to communicate better within the family helps everyone to be more resilient, to have a stronger sense of emotional and mental wellbeing.
Initially, the project is open to families with children under 12 who have been bereaved of a parent. In future years, we will also work with families facing sibling bereavement and other types of losses.
To learn more or get involved with Get Together, please contact Young Cruse Coordinator Elaine.Roub@cruse.org.uk or 02890-792419.
Meet the Coordinators
Elaine Roub (left) joined Cruse in 2005 to set up a regional service for bereaved children aged 4-18. Since then, 100+ volunteers have been equipped to deliver child-friendly bereavement support through all seven Cruse Area offices, and more than 1,000 children and their families have accessed Cruse services. With a background in Social Work and Youth work, Elaine is passionate about giving children and young people a voice. Her “first loves” in work are the Youth Advisory Group and Young Cruse volunteers.
David Cunningham (right) has nine years of clinical experience working as an arts therapist with different statutory and charitable organisations in Northern Ireland. During this time, he has used creative therapy to support crisis intervention, aggression related trauma recovery and therapeutic work on behalf of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services within the NHSCT. David also brings his skills in creative group facilitation, as he has worked as a community artist for over fifteen years within the health and educational sector.