We asked long time Turas Le Cheile volunteer Monica to tell us her thoughts on the work we do, what being a volunteer entails and why she got involved in the first place …

“As I motored from my home in Celbridge recently on my way to the Whitestown House in Kilcock to meet a client for support, I asked myself the question – what am I doing this for, how did I get involved, why am I a volunteer support person with Turas Lé Chéile? Why should I leave my comfortable home, fire and an episode of Emmerdale to spend an hour listening to another person’s story of trauma, loss and pain?

I thought back to the early days of TLC (a great name, with both an Irish name translated as “Journey Together” and in English meaning i.e. “Tender Loving Care” … very clever of Fr. PJ Byrne) I was involved with the establishment of TLC along with Catherine and George Brogan and the other co-founders when we explored the options open to us to help the ever-increasing number of people and families in North Kildare and adjoining counties of Meath and Dublin suffering the grief of loss and tragedy in their lives and communities. At the time, there had been several people who had died by suicide including very young people. Services for supporting people through their loss were limited and those that were available involved a cost or waiting list. A community event highlighted the need for a service that could be accessed locally. Have trained personnel, be free and confidential. And so, it began………

Personally, being a TLC support person means being able to journey with people who are grieving, or in crisis and contributing to the outcome for those people in a positive way. After working with a client over several sessions (which varies from individual to individual), I hope and aim to have brought them to a stage of acceptance of their situation with a readiness to “move on”.

For myself I also appreciate the lasting friendships formed within the TLC group, the coming together for training, for meetings and, not forgetting, of course, the social occasions when we meet such as at Christmas. I have been with the service since it started in 2001 and I have seen it develop and evolve over that time in response to changes in society. Our move to provide a service to local schools and communities in the aftermath of traumatic events has been a major innovative evolution in meeting the needs of our young people and communities. I am happy to have been involved in this development since its inception. It has been a positive learning curve for me too. People today have the same fears, anxieties and needs as fifteen years ago and respond as well today to reassurance and support as ever before. In the future, I would like the services provided by TLC to be better known and promoted. Notices in churches, GP surgeries, local papers and in public places could bring it to the notice of would-be users. Long may Turas Le Chéile continue to grow and develop to fulfil its objectives, and harness the spirit of hope that infuses the volunteers!”

At Turas Le Cheile, we always try to improve, evolve and find the best ways to help and support people and our community. We are very aware that some people prefer a one on one session with the contact person, but it came to our attention that some individuals are more likely to reach for help within a group session. The volunteers of Turas LeCheile are looking to create such initiative and if you feel that it may be beneficial to you, we would gladly organise such support. Contact us by phone, or email and we will discuss with you, the best location and time to attend a group session.

Written by turaslecheile.com

All our volunteer support personnel that you will come in contact with during your sessions have received a high standard of training as this is an important aspect of the service we provide.

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