Paul Finnegan is the Director for Cruse Bereavement Care Northern Ireland. He joined the organisation in 2012 after working in the charity sector, on and off, for around 13 years. He describes the charity as an amazing place to work.
Paul says: “Before joining Cruse Bereavement Care, I had worked in the Electronics Industry for 25 years and then perhaps through serendipity, had worked in the voluntary sector, off and on, for around 13 years.
“I had unfortunately had a bereavement at the time I joined Cruse in August 2012 and felt I had reached the stage in my life where I could do positive work in a field that that I knew would challenge me daily in regards to death and dying. What an incredible move that was. I used to consider myself quite worldly, but the Cruse volunteers and bereaved people I have met have taught me a lot and totally altered my perceptions about so many things.
“There is an every-day magic at Cruse that I love. The staff, volunteers and our bereaved people come together in a community spirit that I associate with my own community growing up – many years ago! It is such an amazing place to be.
“There have been so many memorable work moments! Early in my time with Cruse we brought together six people over the age of 60 and six young people under the age of 16 together who had been bereaved for a six week intergenerational gardening project. They broke into mixed groups and the connections and exchanges were fascinating and in many ways ground-breaking.
“To mark Cruse’s 60th anniversary I sky dived from a plane to raise money for Cruse in May 2019. It was the most terrifying yet empowering ten minutes of my 60 odd year life to date.
“Cruse has accomplished many things in the last 60 years. As an organisation I think we have been very dynamic. Through the 60 years we have evolved to expand our services to allow access to more bereaved people in a range of innovative ways. In Northern Ireland we are currently offering services to whole families which is fantastic.”
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