Anam Cara Commemorating 10 Years

February 27, 2018

Anam Cara is commemorating 10 years of supporting bereaved parents throughout Ireland in 2018. Thanks to the commitment of our founder parents and their families and the support of our donors, Anam Cara reach has increased from two groups located in Cork City and Dublin to 10 groups throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. These groups meet monthly between September and June and give bereaved parents a chance to access information and support. All Anam Cara services are provided free of charge.

Anam Cara’s 2018 #mammyandme Campaign

Please support Anam Cara’s 2018 #mammyandme campaign. 

How Can You Help?

  1. Share a picture of you and your mother on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, including the hashtag #MammyandMe
  2. Tag and nominate three friends or companies to do the same!
  3. Don’t forget to include the text number – ‘Text REMEMBER to 50300 to donate €2 to Anam Cara’. (Text costs €2. Anam Cara will receive a minimum of €1.63. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278)

Anam Cara West Cork – Latest News

February 24, 2018

Anam Cara West Cork officially launched in January 2018 in the Maritime Hotel, Bantry Cork. This group has set up to meet the needs of bereaved parents living in West Cork. Meeting on first Tuesday each month in the Maritime Hotel between September and June each year, Anam Cara West Cork offers information and support to all bereaved parents. For more information see Anam Cara Events.

Newsletter December 2017

December 27, 2017

Download Anam Cara Newsletter December 2017

Anam Cara commemorates ten years in February 2018

Founded on the 5th of February 2008, Anam Cara has in the last decade supported over 10,000 bereaved mothers and fathers throughout the island of Ireland. Hosting 100+ events each year in over 20 locations around the country, in 2018 Anam Cara will continue to work towards its vision “that every family will have the relevant support services they need following the death of their son or daughter.”

Anam Cara is proud to offer all its services free of charge to parents and to make them available for as long as they are needed. In this anniversary year, if anyone has any fundraising ideas (local, regional or national) please do get in touch.

National Remembrance Event in Athlone

On 4th November Anam Cara’s National Remembrance Event was held in Athlone. The weather was kind to us and we really appreciated and valued the beautiful reflections from Colette, Aisling and Adrian. We also had music and songs from Joyce. This is always a special event for Anam Cara bringing together family members including grandparents who have that special relationship with their grandchildren and are also grieving. Aisling’s reflection spoke about the loss of her little brother Sean and how that impacted her life and has inspired her to help other children by studying to be a doctor. There is no doubt that our children, brothers and sisters continue to be a huge influence in our lives and why Anam Cara’s national event is so important that we take time out to remember them together

Anam Cara in Numbers

  • In 2017 Anam Cara facilitated 109 events for bereaved parents and families throughout Ireland.
    1,860 parents attended these events at the 10 Anam Cara groups.
  • At the Anam Cara Bereavement Information Evenings, which are often parents first introduction to Anam Cara , an average of 18 parents attended and availed of our Information Packs, listened to our professional guest speakers and met with our volunteer parents and professional facilitators.
  • 1,308 Anam Cara Information Packs were distributed this year to parents and professionals in contact with bereaved parents .
  • Anam Cara hosted 5 Family events .
  • 96 Professionals attended Anam Cara workshops on bereavement and loss.

Anam Cara Donegal

December 22, 2016

What great support Anam Cara Donegal has got from the people in the county throughout 2016. Anna’s Knockout and Shaun Graham’s Memorial 3km were two events that took place, with family, friend and colleagues taking part.

On behalf of all the Parents connected to Anam Cara Donegal, thank you very much .

Newsletter December 2016

Download the Anam Cara December 2016 Newsletter

New Anam Cara booklet: Living with no surviving children’

Anam Cara would like to thank the parents who came together earlier this year to develop and write a new booklet: ‘Living with no surviving children’. It is a resource that was very much needed for parents who have experienced this devastating loss. This is the eighth booklet in the Anam Cara Information Pack. In just one year, 10,000 copies of the pack have been distributed around the country to hospitals, funeral directors, Gardaí and schools. Every day central office receives calls and emails from parents or those supporting parents requesting packs. The new booklet will be officially launched in the new year. Meanwhile, it can be read at or ordered by contacting

Local Group Focus: Tipperary

By Larry O’Sullivan, Volunteer Parent (pictured)
The Tipperary Anam Cara group recently launched the Information Packs in the Anner Hotel in Thurles. There was a full house on the day and the audience was comprised of people from all areas of life with any connection to bereavement services in Tipperary and surrounding counties. There was a genuinely great reaction to the speakers from all of those attending. This group is co-facilitated by Martina Woodlock and myself who are both bereaved parents and Ricky Hewitt who is our professional co-facilitator with the group. Monthly meetings are held in the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Thurles on the third Monday of each month from September to June, from 7.30pm until 9.00pm sharp.

A word from Ann Lappin of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice

We have enjoyed the opportunity to work in partnership with Anam Cara through funding from a Big Lottery Reaching Out: Supporting Families grant. This partnership has provided a series of information evenings in Northern Ireland throughout the year. We are delighted that this partnership will continue in 2017, providing further information evenings and parent support groups in Northern Ireland. Working together in this way has enabled the strategic development of group-based support services for bereaved parents in their own communities. We look forward to the continuing development of these vital support services.

2016 GSK Impact

Award and new Anam Cara video We were delighted to be one of five winners this year of the very competitive GSK impact Awards. As well as a prize of €10,000, GSK made a new video for Anam Cara to help us promote the work we do. To view the new video see Below, Anam Cara CEO Sharon Vard accepts the award from Minister Finian McGrath and Roger Connor of GSK.

Anam Cara #Daddyandme 2016 campaign

August 22, 2016

The Anam Cara 2016 #daddyandme campaign ran up to Father’s day on 19th June.  A day we mark the special relationship we have with our Dad’s. However it can be a tough and a poignant day for those whose Dad has died or for the many father’s whose son or daughter has died.

Anam Cara appreciates the support and kindness of Ailis Egan and Benji Bennett who helped us raise awareness of Anam Cara and to the many families who posted their favourite photos or selfies with their Dad…..

‘those who live on in our hearts never die’

Anamcara newsletter 2016

July 18, 2016

Download Anam Cara Newsletter July 2016, or read below.

Local Group Focus: Donegal

By Ciara Gallagher – Volunteer Parent
Anam Cara Donegal is a small group, probably by virtue of the size and infrastructure of the county. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month from September to June in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny. Stella McCole, the group’s professional co-facilitator, is assisted each month by either Maeve McHardy or myself. We have a small core of parents who attend regularly with many more who drop in when they need support through a significant mile-stone. We look forward to launching the Anam Cara Information Pack in Septem-ber, which will help us grow awareness of the of Anam Cara in County Donegal.

New Partnerships

northern irelandAnam Cara is committed to building partnerships in the community to ensure bereaved parents are supported throughout the island of Ireland. We are delighted to announce our partnership with Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Together we hosted three Bereavement Information Evenings in Antrim and Fer-managh along with our event in Armagh. We look forward to working with the NICH later this year and in 2017. These events are open to all bereaved parents.

This Autumn we aim to increase our geographic reach by establishing the Anam Cara Midlands group to in Mullingar, along with Anam Cara West Cork group in Bantry.

Amazing fundraising efforts

Larry O Sullivan— Representing Anam Cara Tipperary at Cycle Against Suicide

Larry O Sullivan— Representing Anam Cara Tipperary at Cycle Against Suicide

A huge thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of Anam Cara supporters in the first six months of this year. Especially: 

  • Everyone who ran or walked for Team Anam Cara in this year’s VHI Women’s Mini Marathon
  • Michelle Ronan in West Cork who has single-handedly raised over €11,000 (and counting!) for Anam Cara through a host of imagina-tive events, to end in October on Mount Everest!
  • Gillian and Ian Baird in Donegal whose ‘It’s a Knockout’ event in Castlefinn, held in memory of their daughter Anna, was a huge success raising over €30,000 for Barretstown and Anam Cara
  • Jackie Crowley and Colette Griffin in Cork for organizing another great coffee morning in memory of Colette’s daughter Sarah
  • Kate Burke and the team who donated this year’s proceedings from the annual De la Salle Palmerston ‘Salmo’ Ladies Lunch to Anam Cara

Volunteers Needed! 

We are starting early this year and there will be a bag pack on Saturday17th September in Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt.

If you can donate us 2 hours of your time please contact Clodagh on or call 085 2888 888.

In November/December there will be a bag packs taking place near you as they are Anam Cara’s biggest fundraiser for the year… Please support us so we can support bereaved parents throughout Ireland.

Only 2 hours is what we need and all offers of help very appreciated. If you know any students or schools that would help out better again. Thank you

As the Anam Cara groups take a short break throughout July and August, we would like to thank our volunteer parents who give so generously of their time throughout the year and the professionals connected to the groups for their continued support of Anam Cara.

Thanks to our kind sponsors…

Anam Cara is seeking corporate sponsor to support our services to for be-reaved parents & families. Any contacts or ideas, please let us know to

In the last six months are grateful for the kind and generous support of the following companies and organisations:

  • The Healy Group
  •  Nightline
  •  B. Braun
  •  Adam’s Cloud
  •  Lush Cosmetics
  •  South Dublin County Council
  •  Ervia
  •  Medtronics
  •  Microsoft Ireland
  •  Actavis
  •  Irish Stock Exchange
  •  Astellas Ireland
  •  Cork Street Fund
  •  Lush Ireland

Anam Cara is committed to compliance with the Governance Code for community, voluntary and charitable organisations in Ireland. Anam Cara is also signed up to the statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising and is registered and up to date with the Charities Regulatory Authority.

Remembering Together

Paul and Caroline Flaherty Anam Cara Galway

Paul and Caroline Flaherty Anam Cara Galway

In Galway on June 1st a stone bench for bereaved families was unveiled in the ‘Circle of Life’Garden in Salthill. Thanks to Martina and Denis Gog-gin for giving us this peaceful sanctuary where we can sit and just be how we want to be.

Anam Cara Information Packs

Delighted with the response to our Information Packs. Currently 9K packs have been distributed throughout the island of Ireland. If you would like a copy, contact

Anam Cara 2016 #Daddyandme Campaign 

Thank you to Leinster and Irish rugby international Ailis Egan, Benji and the Bennet Family and Curley Family for their support of this special campaign to commemorate Fathers Day.


Anam Cara Information Pack

October 11, 2015

To address the shortfall in information for bereaved parents throughout Ireland, Anam Cara has produced a suite of information booklets.  A huge thanks to the parents connected to Anam Cara groups throughout Ireland who contributed to this resource.  The following topics are covered…

  • A mum’s grief
  • A dad’s grief
  • Coping with the sudden death of my child
  • Milestones and challenges
  • Self care
  • Supporting my family
  • Adults grieving the death of a brother or sister