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Thanks to tremendous support from the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, better known as the Mercy Sisters, the Trustees of Rainbows Bereavement Support GB held their first meeting in their new National Centre in Oldham in March.

The Rt Rev John Rawsthorne, Bishop of Hallam and trustee of Rainbows for twenty years led the trustees in prayer and paid tribute to the Sisters for their tremendous support to Rainbows over so many years.  The new Resource and Training Centre at Grange Avenue in Oldham was originally an extension to the convent and has been leased to Rainbows on the most generous of terms.

“Where the Church has treasures it has a duty to offer them for all; and one of those treasures is Rainbows.  This new Centre will help us bring comfort, support and indeed new life to many more children and young people grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives.  We thank God for all those who support this important ministry to the bereaved.”

Rainbows Bereavement Support GB has grown to become a well-respected national charity and operates in around 800 schools in Great Britain and most of the schools in Ireland.  It offers training in bereavement and loss, practical and sensitive guidance for schools to review their own bereavement policy, specific training for facilitators of the Rainbows age-related programmes and on-going support to affirm and advise teachers and support staff in their important work with those who grieve.

Sue McDermott, National Director of the charity is delighted with the move.  “The Centre is a real ‘pot of gold’ for us and brings new life to our work.  It will enable us to expand even more so and support many more children, young people and adults.

“Our latest resources include new material for secondary schools called “Spectrum”; “Sunrise” for adults with learning difficulties and a CD rom resource which assists schools review their policies and procedures for “When Somebody Dies”.

“We wish to make the mission of Rainbows Bereavement Support Great Britain more widely known and invite all those who are able to support our work through prayer, practical involvement, or financial support and by encouraging schools, parishes and prisons to look again at how they support the bereaved.

“Please visit our website at www.rainbowsgb.org or contact me by email sue.rainbowsgb@btconnect.com.”

Pot of gold s

Our photograph above shows members of the Trustees and staff in the new Centre: left to right Paul Cronin, Sue Kay Flowers, Bishop John Rawsthorne, Caroline Payne, Deputy Manager, Frank McDermott, Chair of Trustees, Sharon Melia-Craven, Sue McDermott, the National Director, John Lynch, Phil Harrison, Amy Howard, the Centre Manager and Sr Philippa Kohlbecker, trustee representing the Sisters of Mercy.