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.

Michelle Walsh 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.”

Her 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. at’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.”

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