Giving vital Hope to our community

Published: 21/08/2019

For more than 30 years Hope Bereavement Care has provided critical support for members of the Geelong community when they need it most.

The not-for-profit organisation based in Geelong offers free services when grieving the death of a child, the sudden and unexpected death of an adult and those experiencing the loss after suicide.

Hope’s Executive Officer Salli Hickford said the organisation worked to ensure that ‘no-one is alone in their grief.’

The organisation does this by providing flexible and individually tailored counselling, groups (facilitated by volunteers who have been bereaved), information and support for the community and those caring for people who are grieving. Hope also runs a number of memory and remembrance events.

The local charity has served the Geelong Community for more than 30 years, working in partnership with Red Nose Grief and Loss and more recently Jesuit Social Services.

Hope doesn’t receive any government funding and operates on the support of the community.

“Hope was established in 1985 following concerns about the lack of regional services supporting families following the death of a child,” Ms Hickford said.

“The organisation was incorporated in 1993 and consolidated its reputation as a well-regarded service provider for community members of all ages.”

Ms Hickford said the work that Hope does in the Geelong community was extremely important.

“There are limited services for people who suffer sudden and unexpected death,” she said.

“A sudden and unexpected death can be devastating and shocking. This impact can be felt not only by the family but on a whole community. There are times that those bereaved need more support than that of family and friends. Those bereaved by a suicide sometimes find it hard to reach out and when families lose a baby during pregnancy or at birth, it can be hard for those who love and support them to know how to help.”

“Ms Hickford said Hope can “support those who love and care for these parents, friends and loved ones, when the grief can be so overwhelming that we can just feel helpless”.

Bisinella Developments has provided support to Hope which will help bring more hope to Geelong families trying to cope with the sudden death of a precious loved one.

“This support from Bisinella’s allows us to continue to deliver services,” Ms Hickford said.

“It’s not just the financial support that’s important. Bisinella has supported both of our major fundraisers (the SAS Charity Luncheon and the Sports breakfast), as well as offering feedback on our marketing. They have been amazing,” she said.

Over the past 12 months, Hope has:

•            Responded to more than 250 referrals

•            Provided 1800 hours of counselling

•            Delivered more than 60 support group sessions with Hope’s Creative Bereavement, Men’s        Support After Suicide, Empty Arms and Living After Loss groups

•            Provided consultation and education sessions to more than 100 people supporting those grieving in the community

•            Delivered three Children’s Memory Mornings which have given more than 100 children, trying to make sense of loss, the opportunity to honour their adored brothers or sisters

•            Joined together with more than 350 individuals and families at an Annual Remembering Service and Walk of Hope in memory of their precious children or loved ones.  

Ms Hickford said Bisinella’s recent donation would “go to keeping our amazing counsellors supporting those bereaved in the community”.

Hope needs to raise almost $150,000 by the end of the year to be able to continue to support the Geelong community.

“Each year we help more families yet we receive no direct government funding, and the charities which have previously supported us are reducing their funding. We would greatly appreciate any additional support so we can continue to provide ‘hope’ to Geelong families.”

How can you help?

If you would like to donate to Hope visit Give Now  https://www.givenow.com.au/organisation/public/1787

Alternatively the public can fundraise for the charity. For more information visit www.bereavement.org.au 

Support After Suicide Charity Luncheon

Hope is holding a Support After Suicide Charity Luncheon on September 8, 2019.  To purchase a ticket or for more information visit www.bereavement.org.au