The Pride of Ireland Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place. Nominated by the public, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country.
Their achievements are awe-inspiring and a lesson to us all. They say they are ordinary people, but their acts are truly extraordinary.
Sr. Helen and the Children’s Grief Centre (then the Children’s Grief Project) was nominated by one of the centre’s volunteers. When Ireland’s children are in grief, Sister Helen Culhane is a lifeline for them. Her work has exposed her to the gritty realities of a modern world, and never once has she turned away from the difficult truths.
An adult who was helped as a child by the nun, said: “Helen’s compassion knows no end. She saves little lives, she helps little lives grow into big lives filled with love and confidence, self-esteem and the ability to move forward in the secure knowledge that someone has your back.”
Helen’s drive comes from Ireland’s under-pressure society, where relationship breakdowns, soaring stress levels and failing health affect children in every county. Helen from Croom, Co Limerick, said: “What I do is simple. I listen. That’s it. It couldn’t be easier but if people really try to listen they’ll understand how difficult it is.
“The aim of the Children’s Grief Project is to offer support to school-aged children and young people affected by loss through death, separation or divorce. “If this grief is not dealt with properly it becomes a toxin in our hearts, minds and bodies and it can poison our future and that’s what we work to change.”