Who are FirstLight?
FirstLight is the new name for The Irish Sudden Infant Death Association (ISIDA).
What does FirstLight do?
FirstLight (formerly ISIDA)offers support and information, and promotes research into the sudden, unexpected, often unexplained deaths of infants and young children. FirstLight believes that all families should have access to the support and information they need when a child grieves or when a child dies. Through understanding their grieving process and receiving help in dealing with bereavement from appropriately trained professionals, families can learn to live with their grief and begin rebuilding their lives.That is why FirstLight are here.
When was FirstLight founded?
FirstLight was founded in 1976 by a group of bereaved parents because there was no service to support them at the time.
What services do we offer parents?
Primarily FirstLight offers support to bereaved parents and their families , irrespective of the cause of death of the child. This is given through direct access to our resident psychotherapist who offers counselling and guidance.
FirstLight also offers participation in residential groups to all newly –bereaved parents, family days and other appropriate support selected on the basis of an individual’s personal needs and wishes.
Secondly the Association provides information to parents and families as well as organisations or groups who interface with parents and families who have suffered a sudden bereavement (e g teachers, gardaí, crèche owners, community nurses, priests, doctors etc.). FirstLight has produced a number of information leaflets, questions and answers booklets etc. – often in co-operation with the Health Service Executive – and FirstLight staff have addressed individual interest groups (including doctors and trainee public health nurses on Cot Death and its effects of the sudden death of a child on the bereaved.
Thirdly FirstLight encourages and supports research into the causes – and methods of reducing the risk of Cot Death. FirstLight founded and runs the National Paediatric Mortality Register (Formerly National SIDS register) and publishes an analysis of its findings biannually.
How many people are employed in total in FirstLight?
Currently we employ six people – Three full-time and three part-time.
What roles do these people play in the Association?
We have one Statistician, one Researcher, one Psychotherapist, one PR and Fundraisig Officer and two Administrators.
Where is FirstLight located?
We are based in Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 and the National Paediatric Mortality Register is located in Temple Street- Children’s University Hospital.
Is FirstLight a voluntary organisation?
FirstLight was founded as ISIDA, a voluntary organisation in 1976 and in 1986 was formally registered as a Charity with full charitable status. While professional staff are now employed to carry on the full-time work of FistLight, the Association continues to be controlled and run by a Board, or Council of volunteer members, the majority of whom are bereaved family members.
How many people are on FirstLight Council?
There are currently ten Council members who all work on a voluntary basis with the charity. The number varies from year to year.
What are their areas of responsibility?
The Councils primary role is to run FirstLight, to ensure its ethos and objectives best serve the needs of its members, especially in provision of support to those bereaved or effected by the death of a child.
Who is head of the Association?
Kevin O’Meara is the current Chairman of FistLight.
How many members dose the Association currently have?
FirstLight has 315 registered members and almost 500 people on its opt in mailing list. Apart from these, of course , FirstLight is accessed regularly by members of the public who wish to for information or support.
How active are the members of FirstLight in the day to day running of the Association?
The majority of FirstLight are parents who have suffered as the result of a child ‘s death and came to FirstLight for support and information. FirstLight members – other than those elected on Council annually –are not involved in the day to day working of the Association. However , many members – and those who elect to join our mailing list only – actively support FirstLight through fundraising activities which they themselves usually devise and promote.
Are all the of these members parents of children who died as a result of SIDS?
NO. While a initially the majority of FirstLight’s members were parents affected by Cot death we also have a number of parents whose children died at a young age from non-SIDS cause.
What are the primary objectives of FirstLight?
FirstLight has two main objectives:
- To provide relevant and effective individual support to families who experience the death of a child
- To promote research which will help reduce childhood mortality
Is FirstLight funded in full by the Department of Health?
FirstLight is given funds from the HSE based on a budget and service level agreement submitted annually to cover expenses in running this valuable service.
FirstLight offers support and information, and promotes research into the sudden, unexpected, often unexplained deaths of infants and young children. With your continued support we can continue to provide our services for free across Ireland.