The Compassionate Friends Australia
The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is a charitable organisation consisting of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. We offer support, understanding and care to other bereaved families who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age and from any cause.
We offer a peaceful haven for those who have experienced the devastating death of a child. A safe place to come and grieve your loved one, connect with others who have an understanding, and share the painful journey that comes after a child dies. You will receive a warm welcome with empathy and respect and be able to talk freely about your child, sibling or grandchild without judgement or interruption.
At The Compassionate Friends, we understand – as perhaps few others can – the trauma following the death of a child in the family. Our aim is to support all families affected by the death of a child, including unmarried partners, adoptive parents, step families, same sex couples and single parent families.
The Compassionate Friends has no religious affiliation and offers support to bereaved families irrespective of age, cause of death, ethnic, social or political background. We respect the privacy of all those who come to us for support and offer a genuine, confidential and caring service.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The Compassionate Friends (TCF) was founded in Coventry, England, in 1969 by Canon Dr. Simon Stephens OBE, RN, who was then assistant to the Chaplain in the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital. Simon had noticed that the intensity and duration of parental grief was much greater than that of others who had lost loved ones. He brought together two couples whose children had died at the same time, hoping that they might comfort one another. In their mutual grieving, they discovered that by listening to one another, by understanding how each other felt, their grief was lessened and they were able to support and help one another as no one else could. In time the two couples reached out to other grieving parents, and The Compassionate Friends was founded.
Today, The Compassionate Friends has chapters throughout the world supporting bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. In May 1978, the first Australian chapter was founded by Margaret and Lindsay Harmer in Melbourne, and the first Compassionate Friends Bereaved Parent Support and Information Centre was opened in Melbourne in 1982. A network of chapters has now been established throughout Australia.
Today there are Compassionate Friends organisations throughout the world.