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BlueCare’s Grief and Loss Programs: Join the Community of Support

By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator. 

BlueCare’s Grief and Loss programs, established in 1990, offer vital support to individuals coping with losing a loved one through education, information, and social and emotional support.

Rob Edwards, the Queensland manager of the program, is a seasoned social worker with a wealth of experience. Over the years, he has assumed various roles in human services, such as ministerial positions within the Uniting Church and Wesley Mission. He has also overseen crisis shelters and managed a community centre on the south side of Brisbane.

Rob said working for Bluecare on the Grief and Loss programs resonates strongly with his values.

“My life’s purpose has always revolved around supporting and uplifting others,” he said. “I find fulfilment in caring for other’s holistic well-being, as it enables them to fully embrace much of what life has to offer.” 

BlueCare’s programs extend their reach to regional and metropolitan areas, encompassing two distinct initiatives. The first is the Grief and Loss for Loss of a Loved One program, designed to provide information, guidance, and support to bereaved people. The other is the Grief, Loss, and Dementia program, which offers a supportive environment for those grappling with the complex emotions and challenges associated with caring for someone living with dementia.

Rob said that once a cohort is established within the programs, participants tend to embark on a shared journey.

“They have the opportunity to open up, share their personal stories, and feel genuinely heard and understood by others in the group,” he said.

Both programs rely on the dedication and generosity of trained volunteers, and Rob has a vision of extending the programs further into regional areas.

Rob said that the essence of the service lies in the sincere commitment to stand by individuals as they navigate the intricate journey of processing grief.

“I want more people to know throughout the church that these programs are there for them and their communities,” he said. “We eagerly invite more individuals to consider becoming trained volunteers; their contribution is invaluable. They perform a  wonderful service by offering empathy, validation and support to those experiencing grief.”

When participants encounter needs that exceed the capabilities of the trained Group Facilitators, the Group Facilitators are able to provide information about and referrals to a diverse range of appropriate service providers,

Connect 100, an initiative by UnitingCare, is dedicated to strengthening collaboration within the community service sector, supporting volunteers, and promoting innovative approaches to advance the church’s mission in Queensland.  

Rob said Connect 100 is a valuable resource for assisting individuals participating in the BlueCare programs.

“People frequently seek opportunities to rekindle or begin hobbies and personal interests,” he said. “Through Connect 100, we have the potential to connect with like-minded individuals. Additionally, there might be instances where a congregation has a walking group or a coffee meetup, and they could extend their support to someone involved in our programs.” 

You can learn more about how you could partner with BlueCare’s Grief and Loss programs here.

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