CARI hosted their annual Christmas Lunch at The Shelbourne Hotel Dublin on Friday 29th November.
CARI, whose Patron is Miriam Ahern, provides a professional child therapy and counselling service to children and families who have been affected by child sexual abuse.
Guests on the day included Westlife wives Gillian Filan and Georgina Byrne, as well as Cecelia Ahern, Alan Hughes, Karl Broderick, Roz Flanagan, Terry McCoy and Mary Byrne.
Also at the lunch were Lisa Cannon, Cathy O’Connor, Jane Given, Gillian Filan, Norah Casey and Kim Wright to name a few.
The afternoon began with a champagne and gin reception, before guests were treated to a four-course gourmet lunch.
The charismatic Alan Hughes was the MC for the afternoon, and during lunch guests were entertained by Paul Harrington and the infamous Mary Byrne and Kayleigh Cullinan.
Eve Farrelly, Executive Director of CARI commented: “The current statistic in Ireland is that 1 in 5 children are impacted by sexual abuse. But where is that statistic in our life? It resides in every classroom, on every minor’s football pitch, in every playgroup, in every school exam hall, in every crèche, the statistic is everywhere.”
“CARI’s child centered approach to our work has meant that we have developed services throughout our 30 years to address the needs of the children that we work with. Whilst these services are different, the aim is the same: to help children recover from their trauma.”
“In therapy the child can work through their abusive experiences, the trusting therapeutic relationship creates a place where the child can bring all their hopes, fears, thoughts and behaviours and is the cornerstone to recovery and healing.”
“We know that children, who have had these experiences, need, and are entitled to, timely and appropriate intervention. This intervention enables children to manage difficult life situations, to build resilience, to build confidence and self-esteem. It empowers children to reach their full potential.”
“However, not being able to get timely and appropriate intervention can result in children continuing to struggle in these areas. Our lack of resources has prevented children from getting timely access to us.”
“How we care for our children, is the measure of us as adults. The support that each and every one of you give at the CARI Christmas Lunch empowers children, builds them, heals them so that what they experience in childhood, does not become their fingerprint as an adult. We are so grateful to you all for that.”