WINGS of Hope Inc., founded in 2007 is run and managed by people who have been bereaved by suicide, for the community that has been by bereaved by suicide. This a registered charity dealing with harm prevention, and an Incorporated Association being one of the very select organisations that is totally free from religious, spiritual, political or other governance protocols.
The Wings of Hope people came together through attending a support group that was being delivered by one Dr Diana Sands, that was made possible through the funding that came from the Salvation Army. Several of them had lost grownup daughters while others had lost sisters and brothers. All of them had somehow lost a loved one to a suicide. The founding members of the Association are Cindy Mills, Maria Arena, Karen-Lee Johansen, Leigh White and Lesley Thompson.
The Association is responsible for offering resources like a website and it gives backing to the development and expansion of the book and DVD by Dr Diana Sands, “Red Chocolate Elephants” for families and kids who have been bereaved by an act of suicide. The first fundraising and event of the organization was taking part in the September 2009 Sydney Running Festival. Those participating ran and walked in the 9km and 4km events, which were then followed by a social BBQ social event. The Everyday Hero webpage was employed in the event fundraising element and it realized great outcomes. Today, this is a yearly support and fundraising event.
This harm prevention Association offers resources, education and holds supports events meant to boost those who are bereaved by suicide acts. Whenever someone becomes bereaved through suicide they themselves could be exposed to the risk of suicide. This type of grief is complicated and more intense than most of the other types of grief.
The full meaning of WINGS of Hope is “We Inspire New Growth After Suicide Loss”. This unique body is representative of the constant reminder of the strengthening and very positive force or impact that emanated out of the Dr Diana Sands led group support that was received following personal loss of a dear one to suicide.
A Mosman Municipal Council Community Grant facilitated the development of the WINGS of Hope website, a very important resource for harm prevention.
The WINGS of Hope History
The name “We Inspire New Growth after Suicide loss” was generated in one of the early meetings of the management committee in 2008. Initially, the name concepts got developed and then a survey was done online that included female and male participants to ensure that the prospective name options identified would be public appropriate. All the name options were then presented for discussion to the group.
Very influential was Wendy McWilliam towards the development of the acronym for the Association. On the whole nevertheless, the Association will always be appreciative to all the volunteers that helped with the name finding online survey, to all those who took part as respondents, and to the select committee that run the ‘name choosing’ arrangement. The name of the Association is extremely meaningful and is also highly symbolic of the journey taken by many following the loss of a loved one.
In the WINGS of Hope Association logo, a strong symbol of inspiration and hope has been created. Credit goes to Maris Cuane who shared his resources, time and graphic design skills towards the creation of the logo. The turquoise and purple colours represent suicide prevention. The 5 butterflies are representative of the five (5) founding Association members including their respective lost dear ones, named Lorraine, Tiani, Vernon, Helen and Victoria. The five butterflies imply the growth of the founding through loss.
As the Association’s design changed and evolved over time, so did the committee. Every member of the committee learned quite a bit regarding the different strengths each was bringing to the Association and in the way how when all these were brought together could make a big difference to the many that are affected or suicide bereaved.
Sponsorship for WINGS of Hope
It is possible to sponsor projects that are supported by WINGS of Hope. The Association remains highly focused on education for the bereaved, an aspect differentiating them from those who are providing support groups only.
Over and over again towards assisting a worthy a cause, or perhaps in memory of a dear lost one, supporters usually like donating to the various projects. Such donations are also welcome. Donations that are over $2 become tax deductible in Australia.
The current projects from which you could your sponsorship include:
- The Red Chocolate Elephants DVD and book for families and kids that have been bereaved through suicide.
- Restoring the Heartbeat of Hope. This is a Suicide Service for the bereaved providing group and individual counselling.
- Getting a Remembrance Seat through the Balmoral Island project.
- Donating towards supporting the WINGS of Hope website and for the organization’s running costs.