A new campaign to highlight the difficulties faced by fathers who have lost a child has been launched.
The #Daddyandme campaign has been launched by Anam Cara, a charity that works with families who have experienced the death of a child.
Almost two-thirds of people know someone who has lost a child and it is estimated that in 2014 alone, around 2,100 families lost a son or daughter. However, according to Anam Cara CEO, Sharon Vard, ‘the grief a father experiences is often overlooked', with many people asking how a mother is coping, but not offering the same degree of support to fathers.
The campaign is being launched ahead of Father's Day on June 21, as this can be a particularly difficult time for fathers who have lost a son or daughter. Members of the public are being asked to get involved by donating €4 to the charity, to help raise funds to provide services to bereaved fathers.
People are being asked to share a picture of themselves and their father on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, including the hashtag #Daddyandme. You should then tag and nominate three friends or companies asking them to do the same. You can then donate €4 by texting SUPPORT to 50300 and include this information in your post or tweet.
"Our campaign is about celebrating our Dads and also remembering the many Dads throughout Ireland who will be missing hugs and cards from their children this Fathers' Day and every other day of the year. The grief a father experiences is often overlooked, so we're asking people to get involved and play a huge part in helping Anam Cara provide vital support services to those suffering following the terrible and unimaginable ordeal of losing a child," Ms Vard explained.
International rugby player, Mike Ross, is a #Daddyandme ambassador. The father of two said he experienced this type of grief when he lost a brother 18 years ago.
"Not only did I have to deal with my own pain but I also had to witness the impact that it had on my parents and our family unit. Anam Cara provides invaluable support to families at this traumatic time and I'm asking everyone to get behind the #Daddyandme campaign and to help raise funds for this worthy cause," he said.
To coincide with this campaign, the charity has also launched a new video, A Dad's Grief, which includes interviews with bereaved fathers. It is aimed at recently bereaved fathers and can be viewed here
Anam Cara is also in the process of finalising an information leaflet for bereaved fathers. Once published, it will be distributed to Emergency Departments, funeral homes, social workers and counsellors.
For more information on Anam Cara, click here
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