Who are FirstLight?
FirstLight formerly the Irish Sudden Infant Death Association was founded in 1976 by a group of bereaved parents because there was no service to support them at the time. .
What does FirstLight do?
FirstLight offers support and information, and promotes research into the sudden, unexpected, often unexplained deaths of infants and 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.
What services do we offer parents & families?
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.
Thirdly FirstLight encourages and supports research into the causes – and methods of reducing the risk of Cot Death. FirstLight founded the National Paediatric Mortality Register which publishes an analysis of its findings biannually. First Light assigned the register to Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in 2017. Following the assignment Temple Street Children’s University Hospital is now responsible for the register and its operation is governed within the framework of the National Office of Clinical Audit.
How many people are employed in total in FirstLight?
FirstLight currently employs three full-time staff, three part-time staff and approx fifty therapists nationwide intermittently.
Where is FirstLight located?
We are based in the Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.
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 FirstLight, the organisation 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 seven 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 direct policy strategy and its implementation alongside ensuring the ethos and objectives of FirstLight 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 current chair of the FirstLight Council?
The current chair of FirstLight is Fiona Hammond.
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?
No FirstLight is funded through grants from The Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) and the charitable donations of the business and public communities in the delivery of our services nationwide.
FirstLight offers support and information, and promotes research into the sudden, unexpected, often unexplained deaths of infants and children. With your continued support we can continue to provide our services for free across Ireland.