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About Us

The Compassionate Friends is an international, non-profit, non-denominational, self-help organization, offering friendship, understanding, grief education and HOPE for the future to all families who have experienced the death of a child at any age, from any cause.

Our Primary Purpose is to aid in the positive reconciliation of grief and foster the physical and emotional health of parents and their surviving children.

Our Secondary Purpose is to provide information and education about the grief of bereaved parents and their surviving children. The objective is to help those in their community, including family, friends, co-workers, employers and professionals to be supportive.

The Secret of TCF’s success is simple. As seasoned grievers reach out to the newly bereaved,
energy that has been directed inward begins to flow outward and both are helped to heal.

The Vision of The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope.

ImagesOur Mission Statement was developed at the founding of The Compassionate Friends and it continues to be followed by TCF chapters throughout the world. The first meeting of The Compassionate Friends took place in Coventry, England on January 28th, 1969. The first chapter in Canada was established in Winnipeg, MB, January, 1977. There are approximately 50 Canadian chapters with numerous contact members from Victoria, BC to St. John’s NL, including the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. TCF is now in approximately 30 countries with a network of over 1000 chapters.

The Compassionate Friends/Les Amis Compasitissants of/du Canada was formed November 2, 1986 in Winnipeg, MB. In 1991, shared office space with the Winnipeg Chapter became the National Office; relocating to British Columbia in 2005. The Compassionate Friends of Canada became incorporated August 8, 2001.

To recover from the death of a child may take a lifetime but the most crucial period of the grieving process is the first several years. Unfortunately, support of friends and extended family is usually relatively short term when compared to the needs of a bereaved parent. The Compassionate Friends provides the much needed “mutual support and understanding” for those bereaved parents and their surviving children.

Grief is not a condition that can be “treated”. It is a healing process that takes a long time—much longer than most people would expect, and requires on-going support, understanding, and friendship from those who have “been there”. The Compassionate Friends offers all of these, but most of all, they offer HOPE— hope that recovery is possible.

The Compassionate Friends is an organization formed by and for parents whose children have died. The Compassionate Friends is the only organization that specifically deals with the death of a child at any age, from any cause, at any time. Therefore, mental health workers, counsellors and those of the teaching and helping professions often refer their clients to The Compassionate Friends.

Local chapters provide monthly sharing meetings, telephone friends, newsletters and hold an annual Candle Lighting Memorial Service and various specific events. Most chapters have a library of resource books, CD’s and videos beneficial to parents and professionals alike. Many chapters also have brochures which are distributed within their communities.

When a parent truly understands and acknowledges their loss, the healing process can begin. We are here to journey along side
the newly bereaved until they can make their own choice
to reinvest in life once again. All this we do in memory of our children
who were—still are—
and ALWAYS will be a part of who we are—what we are—and what we do —



and Forever!

Written by Ken Pinch – Past President TCF Canada

In memory of his 8 year old son, Christopher Pinch