Our Origin Story
The death of a parent or sibling is one of the most psychologically devastating events that a child can experience. Without well-informed support, such a profound loss can have traumatic consequences for a bereaved child and their family. Born out of the identified need for a dedicated non-profit centre to serve the grief and bereavement needs of children and youth in Guelph and Wellington County, The Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children, Youth, and Families serves to fill this gap. Established in 2018-2019, The Nightingale Centre and its programs have been made possible by the continuous support of the Guelph and Wellington County community, The Nightingale Centre Board of Directors and the Guelph Community Foundation.
The Nightingale bird species get their name from the Old English word for “Night Singer,” or “Night Songstress.” The Nightingale is one of the few birds known for their nocturnal singing capabilities, breaking into powerful and beautiful song most noticeable at night. This particular bird has been symbolic in the development of The Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children, Youth, and Families. The Centre is dedicated to providing care and support to grieving and bereaved individuals, while building courage, hope and resilience. If darkness is symbolic of grief, and singing is symbolic of hope – it is our goal to support our grieving children and young people as they learn to sing in the dark.
To provide grief and bereavement support to children, youth, and their families who have experienced, or are anticipating, the loss of a significant person in their lives through death, while building a community of courage, hope and resilience.
To create a suite of services to support bereaved children, youth, and families, while simultaneously creating a safe space in which families can become a part of a community dedicated to supporting individual grief journeys.